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Seminoma Metastatic to the Orbit

Dutton, Jonathan J., M.D., Ph.D.*; Proia, Alan D., M.D., Ph.D

Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: July/August 2018 - Volume 34 - Issue 4 - p 309–312
doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000001031
Major Review

Purpose: Seminomas are solid tumors in young men, but which rarely metastasize to the orbit. The authors review the known literature on seminoma metastatic to the orbit, and describe an additional case in a 33-year-old man.

Methods: A literature search was performed on the MEDLINE database using keywords “seminoma,” “testicular germ-cell tumors,” “testicular cancer,” “testicular neoplasm,” “orbital metastasis,” and “germ-cell neoplasms.”

Results: Malignant neoplasms of the testis account for only 1% of cancers in men. None-the-less, testicular germ cell seminoma is the most common solid tumor found in young men between the ages of 15 and 39. Only seven previous cases have been mentioned in the literature. The pathogenesis remains unclear although genetic, environmental, and maternal factors may play a role. The number of cases is too few to determine the best treatment options, but surgical excision and adjunctive orbital radiotherapy appear to be most appropriate.

Conclusions: Although metastases to the orbit are rare, seminoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of all young men with proptosis.

Seminoma is a malignant germ-cell tumor of the testis and is the most common solid malignancy in young men. Metastases to the orbit are exceptionally rare. The authors report a new case and review the known literature.

*Department of Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina Medical Center, Chapel Hill

Department of Pathology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Accepted for publication October 9, 2017.

The authors have no financial or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Dr. Carol Shields served as guest editor for this submission.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jonathan J. Dutton, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. E-mail:

© 2018 by The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc., All rights reserved.