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Eur J Cancer. 1993;29A(16):2225-31.

A phase I/II study of a stepwise dose-escalated regimen of cisplatin, etoposide and ifosfamide plus granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in patients with advanced germ cell tumours.

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  • 1Department of Hematology/Oncology, Hannover University Medical School, Germany.


In order to improve the survival of patients with metastatic advanced disease germ cell tumours (according to Indiana University classification), 77 patients were treated by a stepwise dose-escalated combination regimen of platinum (P), etoposide (E) and ifosfamide (I) (PEI) followed by application of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) (10 micrograms/kg subcutaneously per day at levels 2 and 3) starting the first day after chemotherapy for 10 consecutive days. The maximally tolerated dose was reached at the third dose level with P 30 mg/m2, E 200 mg/m2 and I 1.6 g/m2, all given for 5 days, once every 21 days, for a total of four cycles. Sixty-seven per cent of patients had three or more metastatic sites. Twenty-two per cent of patients had extragonadal primary tumours. 49 (65%) patients achieved complete remission, and 9 additional patients (12%) achieved marker normalisation with unresectable residual disease. After a median follow-up of 27 months, the overall survival is 80%, with 67% of patients remaining free from progression. The dose-limiting toxicities were WHO grades 3/4 mucositis/enteritis in 33% of patients and prolonged thrombocytopenia < 20.000/microliters (> 10 days). Adverse reactions to GM-CSF occurred in 13% of patients. The use of a single haematopoietic growth factor allowed only a moderate increase in dose intensity (factor 1.37). Peripheral blood stem cells will be additionally incorporated into the treatment protocol in order to deliver multiple cycles of an upfront dose-intensified PEI regimen in patients with "poor risk" germ cell tumours with less toxicity.

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