Cancer is complex — there is no routine testicular cancer, nor is there ever a routine way to treat it.

The OSUCCC – James physicians are nationally and internationally renowned in research and patient care for their one particular cancer. Because of that expertise and understanding of cancer’s complexities and how it acts and reacts differently in each person, the very best outcomes — and the most effective means of treating cancer patients — come from a team approach.

At the OSUCCC – James, testicular cancer patients have a team of experts that includes medical oncologists, urologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, geneticists, nutritionists and more. Also on that team are testicular cancer researchers who help sequence tumors to identify key molecules that fuel each patient’s cancer and who then develop drugs that target only those particular molecules. Many of our experts also help write the national clinical guidelines for treatments.

As one of only four cancer centers in the country funded by the National Cancer Institute to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials, the OSUCCC – James offers patients access to more clinical trials than nearly any other cancer hospital in the country and to more of the latest, most targeted, most effective treatment options — many that are available nowhere else but at the OSUCCC – James.

Treatment Options

The OSUCCC – James is a leader in offering some of the world’s most advanced, sophisticated treatments for testicular cancer patients.

Every person’s disease is different, with individually unique genes and molecules driving that disorder. At the OSUCCC – James, our testicular cancer sub-specialists are world-renowned experts who focus solely on testicular disorders and who reach across medical disciplines (medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, urologic oncologists, pathologists, testicular cancer researchers, genomic experts and more) to design the very best treatment plan and therapies to target each patient’s specific cancer. 

One or more of the following treatments may be recommended:

Surgery

Inguinal Orchiectomy

Most testicular tumors must be removed to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Your OSUCCC – James surgical oncologist removes the tumor and surrounding cancer cells during the procedure, which is called an inguinal orchiectomy. This surgery is performed to diagnose and stage testicular cancer.

The entire testicle is removed through an opening made in the groin and a tissue sample is sent to a pathologist for biopsy. The surgeon also may remove lymph nodes in the abdomen to make sure the cancer does not spread.

This surgery should be performed by an experienced surgical oncologist who knows to remove the tissue without making an incision in the scrotum, which could cause the cancer to spread.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays or other radiation targeted directly at the testicular cancer cells to destroy cancer cells or keep them from growing.

A patient with testicular cancer may receive radiation therapy before or after a surgery that removes a tumor. Radiation can shrink a tumor to make surgery more successful.

The OSUCCC – James radiation experts are leaders in innovative radiation treatments, and The James is one of the few hospitals in Ohio to offer radiation treatments in the prone position (the patient is lying down).

The OSUCCC – James also offers other leading-edge radiation treatments, including imaging-based radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), stereotactic radiosurgery and using a Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs stop cancer cell growth by either destroying the cells or stopping them from dividing.

When chemotherapy is given before surgery, it can shrink a tumor. After surgery, it can lower risk that the testicular cancer will return. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, and they may be given over a period of months. When the drugs enter the bloodstream, they can reach cancer cells throughout the body (called systemic chemotherapy).

Combination chemotherapy uses more than one anti-cancer drug.

Chemotherapy treatment usually takes place in an outpatient part of the hospital, at your doctor's office or in your home. Some people may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.

Chemotherapy with Stem Cell Transplantation

Stem cell transplants enable patients to receive chemotherapy treatment, and then later, replace blood-forming cells that have been destroyed by cancer treatment. 

Stem cells, which are immature blood cells, are removed from the blood or bone marrow of either the patient or a donor, and then they are frozen and stored. After chemotherapy is completed, the stored stem cells are thawed and given back to the patient through an infusion. These reinfused stem cells grow into and restore the body's blood cells. If a stem cell transplant is needed, the OSUCCC – James has one of the most active, sophisticated programs in the nation.

Testicular Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

For cancer patients, clinical trials mean hope. Hope for a cancer-free world and for better, more targeted ways to prevent, detect, treat and cure individual cancers. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their cancer treatment.

The OSUCCC – James has more than 500 open clinical trials at any given time, with some of the world’s latest discoveries available to clinical trial patients right here in Columbus, Ohio. In fact, patients have access to more cancer clinical trials here than at nearly any other hospital in the region as well as access to some of the most advanced, targeted treatments and drugs available.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only four U.S. cancer centers funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. These trials go only to centers that demonstrate an exemplary capacity for research and clinical care, the expertise to deliver the latest in treatments and the infrastructure to interpret and track treatment results.

Additionally, Ohio State has nearly 300 cancer researchers dedicated to understanding what makes each patient’s cancer grow, move, metastasize or reoccur. Because of the OSUCCC – James’ NCI phase I and phase II approvals, these experts can move research discoveries into clinical trials and make them available to patients sooner.

Who Should Participate in a Clinical Trial

For some patients, taking part in a clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during or after starting their cancer treatment.

The OSUCCC – James is one of only four institutions funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to conduct phase 1 and 2 clinical trials on NCI–sponsored anticancer drugs.

If you’ve been diagnosed with testicular cancer, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a testicular cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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Patient Story

Patient Stories Jan Frutal

Charles Ruma

After Charles Ruma developed testicular cancer, he underwent treatment at the OSUCCC – James to remove it. And then he started a nonprofit organization to help raise funds for cancer research.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

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Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066

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