It has been suggested that testicular cancer, cryptorchism, hypospadias, and poor semen quality share a common etiology and, as such, are members of a testicular dysgenesis syndrome (TDS). The etiology of these disorders is very poorly understood, however. Although testicular cancer is the most common cancer of young men in the United States, etiologic studies remain few and lack substantial power to detect small risk factors or interactions of risk factors. In addition, relatively small sample sizes have precluded the study of risk differences among ethnic groups.
The goal of this meeting is to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scientists working on various aspects of TDS to foster cross-disciplinary research projects focused on elucidating the etiology of TDS disorders. Issues to be discussed include current epidemiologic perspectives, pathologic similarities of the TDS disorders, emerging hypotheses of TDS disorders, molecular biology/genetics of testicular cancer, clinical aspects of testicular cancer and testicular intraepithelial neoplasia (TIN), application of mouse models, and strategies for integrating studies of the TDS disorders. Future pooling of existing data concerning specific hypotheses will also be discussed.