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J Clin Oncol. 2008 Nov 20;26(33):5416-21. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2007.15.9103. Epub 2008 Oct 20.

Chemotherapy as an alternative to radiotherapy in the treatment of stage IIA and IIB testicular seminoma: a Spanish Germ Cell Cancer Group Study.

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  • 1Genitourinary Tumors and Sarcoma Unit, Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Català d'Oncologia L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain.



To assess the long-term efficacy and toxicity of front-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy in patients with stage IIA or IIB testicular seminoma.


Untreated patients with pure seminoma of the testis after orchiectomy, with clinical stage IIA or IIB, were considered eligible for this prospective observational study. Chemotherapy consisted of either four cycles of cisplatin and etoposide or three cycles of cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin.


Between April 1994 and March 2003, 72 patients were entered onto the study at 26 participating centers. Eighteen patients had stage IIA disease, and 54 patients had stage IIB disease. Eighty-three percent of patients achieved complete response, and 17% achieved partial response with residual mass. After a median follow-up time of 71.5 months, six patients with stage IIB disease experienced relapse, and one of these patients died as a result of seminoma. Three patients experienced non-seminoma-related deaths (two died from a further esophageal carcinoma, and one died from an upper digestive hemorrhage). The estimated 5-year progression-free survival rates for patients with stage IIA or IIB disease were 100% and 87% (95% CI, 77.5% to 97%), respectively. Five-year progression-free and overall survival rates for the whole group were 90% (95% CI, 82% to 98%) and 95% (95% CI, 89% to 100%), respectively. Severe granulocytopenia and thrombocytopenia were observed in eight and two patients, respectively. Mild to moderate emesis, stomatitis, and diarrhea were the most common nonhematologic effects.


Chemotherapy is a highly effective and well-tolerated treatment for patients with stage IIA or IIB seminoma and represents an available alternative that could avoid some of the serious late effects associated with radiotherapy. Further studies focusing on long-term toxicities of different treatment modalities are needed.

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