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Urol Oncol. 2011 May-Jun;29(3):284-90. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2009.03.030. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

Long-term outcome of salvage high-dose chemotherapy in patients with germ cell tumor with poor prognostic features.

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  • 1Department of Oncology and Hematology, Istituto Oncologico Romagnolo-Santa Maria delle Croci Hospital, Ravenna, Italy. ugo_degiorgi@yahoo.com



High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) represents an option as salvage treatment for patients with resistant/refractory germ cell tumor (GCT). The objective of this retrospective analysis was to evaluate the long-term results of a single-center experience with salvage HDCT for GCT patients, and to validate the prognostic model proposed by Einhorn and colleagues [9].


Between 1986 and 2003, 100 GCT patients received salvage HDCT consisting of high-doses of carboplatin, etoposide ± cyclophosphamide, or ifosfamide. Twenty-four patients underwent a second HDCT cycle, and in 1 case, a third cycle was given with a median interval time of 6 weeks (range, 5-10).


With a median follow-up of 8 years (range, 3-17); 6 of 32 (19%) patients with resistant GCT and 1 of 19 (5%) patients with cisplatin-refractory disease have been continuously disease-free, while none of the 16 patients with absolutely cisplatin-refractory GCT were alive at 1 year from HDCT treatment. In the PBPC era, HDCT appeared to be inapplicable in 32% of patients, mainly due to progressive disease during the induction/mobilizing phase. The prognostic model by Einhorn et al. for tandem HDCT did categorize our patients treated with a single HDCT cycle or low-dose intensity regimens in a very similar manner, but with inferior overall results.


Long-term results with a single HDCT cycle or a low dose-intensity multicycle HDCT regimen remained poor in patients with adverse prognostic features. The tandem HDCT regimen represents a major option for refractory GCTs and relapsed tumors in third-line or later therapy, while a single course of HDCT should be abandoned for these patients.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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