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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 230-233

Metastatic epithelioid trophoblastic tumor in retroperitoneal nodes in a case of regressed germ cell tumor of testis: An extremely rare occurrence

1 Department of Surgical Pathology, Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission14-Feb-2022
Date of Decision12-May-2022
Date of Acceptance15-Jun-2022
Date of Web Publication1-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Uma Sakhadeo
Department of Surgical Pathology, Tata Memorial Centre, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iju.iju_58_22

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Epithelioid trophoblastic tumor is an extremely rare tumor which occurs in women of the reproductive age group following a previous gestation. Its occurrence in male patients is remarkably rare, with only six cases reported in the English literature. Herein, we discuss the unusual occurrence of this tumor in a 31-years-old male patient as a component of non-seminomatous germ cell tumor. It presented as retroperitoneal metastasis with associated testicular microlithiasis (regressed germ cell tumor).

How to cite this article:
Sakhadeo U, Menon S, Prakash G, Desai SB. Metastatic epithelioid trophoblastic tumor in retroperitoneal nodes in a case of regressed germ cell tumor of testis: An extremely rare occurrence. Indian J Urol 2022;38:230-3

How to cite this URL:
Sakhadeo U, Menon S, Prakash G, Desai SB. Metastatic epithelioid trophoblastic tumor in retroperitoneal nodes in a case of regressed germ cell tumor of testis: An extremely rare occurrence. Indian J Urol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 1];38:230-3. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Tumors of trophoblastic derivation other than choriocarcinoma are very rare in the testis but have been reported on occasion in association with other germ cell tumors. Their morphologic spectrum is analogous to the trophoblastic tumors of the female genital tract including epithelioid trophoblastic tumor (ETT) and placental site trophoblastic tumor (PSTT).[1] We describe a 31-year-old male patient who presented with left flank pain. Ultrasonography (USG) revealed a large retroperitoneal and pelvic mass with testicular microlithiasis. His serum beta-HCG was marginally raised (161 mIU/ml), whereas alpha fetoprotein (AFP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels were within normal limits. The core biopsy of the retroperitoneal mass was reported as trophoblastic tumor. The patient received standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The left orchidectomy revealed features of a regressed germ cell tumor. His disease progressed and a desperation retroperitoneal dissection revealed metastasis of ETT and teratoma. The dilemmas of management are discussed.

   Case Report Top

A 31-year-old male patient presented with left flank pain of 3 months duration. USG abdomen revealed a paraaortic retroperitoneal conglomerated nodal mass (6.5 cm × 5.8 cm) and pelvic necrotic nodal mass (9.2 cm × 7 cm) along left the external iliac vessels. His serum beta-HCG was marginally raised (161 mIU/ml), whereas AFP and LDH levels were within normal limits. USG testes revealed microlithiasis, there was no mass lesion computed tomography (CT)-guided core biopsy of the retroperitoneal mass was obtained and was reported as trophoblastic tumor based on the presence of an epithelioid pleomorphic tumor which expressed EMA, p63, and GATA3. It was negative for CD30, glypican 3, and OCT3/4. SALL4 immunohistochemistry was not done on this core biopsy. The patient underwent 3 cycles of standard BEP (bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin) chemotherapy. Response positron emission tomography (PET)-contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT) revealed a fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) avid retroperitoneal para-aortic nodal mass noted with areas of necrosis, measuring 5.1 cm x 3.7 cm x 4.4 cm, SUVmax 12.07 (previously measuring 4.65 cm × 3.1 cm × 4.4 cm, SUVmax 7.49). Thus, there was an interval increase in the size and metabolism of these masses as well as in metastatic bilateral lung nodules. Post BEP, left side orchidectomy and retroperitoneal node dissection (RPLND) were done and both did not reveal any tumor. The testicular tubules revealed microlithiasis (”burnt out” or regressed germ cell tumor), also noted was intertubular fibrosis and sclerosis with absent spermatogenesis [Figure 1]a. There was no GCNIS. He then received 2 cycles of TIP (paclitaxel, ifosfamide, and cisplatin). Follow-up PET-CECT, post-second-line chemotherapy at 2 months revealed an FDG-avid retroperitoneal para-aortic nodal mass noted, measuring 33 mm × 46 mm, SUVmax 5.09 (5.1 cm × 3.7 cm × 4.4 cm, SUVmax 12.07). Bilateral lung nodules were persistent. Serum beta-HCG at this stage was 2260 mIU/ml. A desperation RPLND was then performed and it revealed two tumor components. The predominant one was ETT which displayed sheets of moderately pleomorphic tumor cells of epithelioid [Figure 1]b morphology. The tumor was arranged in sheets and aggregates. There was focal eosinophilic hyaline-like material [Figure 1]c. There were large areas of hemorrhage and necrosis along with dispersed thrombosed vessels. The other component was a mature teratomatous component composed of fibrous stroma and cystically dilated glands lined by mucinous and columnar epithelium [Figure 1]d. The ETT component expressed AE1AE3, p63, and GATA3 [Figure 2]a, [Figure 2]b, [Figure 2]c. There was a focal expression of human placental lactogen (hPL) [Figure 2]d. SALL4, CD30, Oct3/4, and glypican 3 were all negative. Follow-up PET-CT after 2 months showed low-grade uptake in the retroperitoneal mass and lung nodules. Serum beta-HCG was 5489 mIU/ml. The patient was referred for palliative care.
Figure 1: Hematoxylin and eosin sections: (a) Intratubular microlithiasis and fibrosis, thickening of basement membranes of the seminiferous tubules with interstitial edema in the left testis; suggestive of regressed germ cell tumor (×40). (b) Sheets of epithelioid tumor cells (×200). (c) Focal hyaline matrix (arrow) (×400). (d) Teratomatous component composed of cysts lined by ciliated epithelium (×100)

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Figure 2: Immunohistochemistry: Diffuse expression of AE1AE3 (a), GATA3 (b) and p63 (c). Focal expression of hPL (d)

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   Discussion Top

ETT is a distinct entity in the category of gestational trophoblastic tumors which also includes exaggerated placental site, placental site nodule, and PSTT. These entities are classified as extravillous trophoblastic lesions.[2] The term “ETT” was first introduced by Mazur and Kurman,[3] however, its first account was given by Shih et al. where they described its peculiar clinicopathologic characteristics in 14 female patients.[4] ETT is a malignant tumor of the extravillous trophoblasts of the chorionic type.[2] It typically occurs in females with antecedent gestation and mild-to-moderate elevation of beta-HCG level (<2500 mIU/ml)[5]. The occurrence of ETT in males is extremely rare with only six-documented cases[1],[6],[7] [Table 1]. Of these, one case was remarkably unique due to its occurrence in elderly male, extragonadal location (lung), and a coexisting pulmonary adenocarcinoma.[7] The remaining five cases showed an age range of 19–43 years; with mildly elevated serum beta-HCG except for one case (179,97 mIU/ml).[1],[6] within our patient, beta-HCG was 161 mIU/ml at presentation, which further increased to 2260 mIU/ml and 5489 mIU/ml during the course of the disease. Post BEP therapy, he underwent left orchidectomy and RPLND, both of which did not show any residual tumor. However, the testis revealed fibrosis and intratubular microlithiasis, both of which strongly indicated a regressed germ cell tumor.[8] The follow-up beta-HCG (2260 mIU/ml) and PET-CT revealed disease progression. The patient received 2 cycles of second-line TIP chemotherapy and then underwent desperation RPLND, as the abdominal disease was unresponsive. The sections revealed ETT and teratoma. The ETT component expressed AE1AE3, GATA3, hPL (focal), and p63. SALL4 was negative. MIB-1 index was 50%. Similar to our case, all the cases documented in male patients demonstrated morphological and immunohistochemical features similar to the tumors occurring in female patients.[1],[6],[7] The classically described tumor in females also shows nests and cords of monomorphic epithelioid cells with the characteristic eosinophilic hyaline matrix.[4],[5] Idrees et al. have described three cases of ETT in males with an associated teratoma.[1] However, all three cases presented as testicular mass, unlike our patient. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of a regressed testicular germ cell tumor which developed epithelioid trophoblastic tumor at the metastatic site in retroperitoneum nodes. The non-expression of SALL4 and relatively low levels of beta-HCG ruled out the possibility of choriocarcinoma.[9] PSTT was a more plausible differential, however, PSTT can be distinguished as it is characteristically p63 negative and demonstrates extensive expression of hPL.[9] Focal expression of hPL is known as seen in our case.[5],[10] Another distinctive feature of PSTT is diffuse expression of MelCAM. ETT only shows scattered expression if at all.[2],[5] MelCAM was not done in our case. ETT and PSTT are chemoresistant, unlike choriocarcinoma.[2] Our patient also failed to respond to two lines of chemotherapy and was finally referred to palliative care following the RPLND.
Table 1: Published cases

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   Conclusion Top

We describe the first case of a regressed testicular germ cell tumor which presented as ETT at a metastatic site. It is of vital importance to identify these extravillous trophoblastic tumors in males as they are chemoresistant which may portend a graver prognosis as treatment options are limited.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the patient has given his consent for his images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patient understands that his name and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal his identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship: Nil.

Conflicts of interest: There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Idrees MT, Kao CS, Epstein JI, Ulbright TM. Nonchoriocarcinomatous trophoblastic tumors of the testis: The widening spectrum of trophoblastic neoplasia. Am J Surg Pathol 2015;39:1468-78.  Back to cited text no. 1
Heller DS. Update on the pathology of gestational trophoblastic disease. APMIS 2018;126:647-54.  Back to cited text no. 2
Mazur MT, Kurman RJ. Gestational trophoblastic disease. In: Blaustein's Pathology of the Female Genital Tract. 4th ed. Springer, New York; 1994. p. 1049-93.  Back to cited text no. 3
Shih IM, Kurman RJ. Epithelioid trophoblastic tumor: A neoplasm distinct from choriocarcinoma and placental site trophoblastic tumor simulating carcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol 1998;22:1393-403.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kurman RJ, Carcangiu ML, Herrington CS, Young RH. Gestational trophoblastic neoplasms. In: WHO Classification of Tumors of Female Reproductive Organs, IARC World Health Organization Classification of Tumors. 4th ed. Publisher: Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2014.  Back to cited text no. 5
Allan RW, Algood CB, Shih IeM. Metastatic epithelioid trophoblastic tumor in a male patient with mixed germ-cell tumor of the testis. Am J Surg Pathol 2009;33:1902-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
Yun JS, Kim GE, Na KJ, Song SY. Combined epithelioid trophoblastic tumor and contralateral synchronous adenocarcinoma of the lungs in a 69-year-old man. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2012;60 Suppl 2:e22-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
Angulo JC, González J, Rodríguez N, Hernández E, Núñez C, Rodríguez-Barbero JM, et al. Clinicopathological study of regressed testicular tumors (apparent extragonadal germ cell neoplasms). J Urol 2009;182:2303-10.  Back to cited text no. 8
McGregor SM, Furtado LV, Montag AG, Brooks R, Lastra RR. Epithelioid trophoblastic tumor: Expanding the clinicopathologic spectrum of a rare malignancy. Int J Gynecol Pathol 2020;39:8-18.  Back to cited text no. 9
Fadare O, Parkash V, Carcangiu ML, Hui P. Epithelioid trophoblastic tumor: Clinicopathological features with an emphasis on uterine cervical involvement. Mod Pathol 2006;19:75-82.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1]


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