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Eur Urol. 2002 Dec;42(6):553-62; discussion 562-3.

Clinical pattern and therapeutic results achieved in 1490 patients with germ-cell tumours of the testis: the experience of the Spanish Germ-Cell Cancer Group (GG).

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Department of Medical Oncology, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Hospital Duran y Reynals, Av. Gran via s/n, Km 2,7, 08907 Hospitalet, Barcelona, Spain.



To describe the clinical characteristics and treatment results obtained with the application of a homogeneous treatment protocol in 1490 patients with germ-cell tumours (GCT) registered in the 55 hospitals belonging to the Spanish Germ-Cell Cancer Group (GG) during the period between January 1994 and April 2001.


In general, surveillance was the common policy for stage I patients without local poor prognosis factors, whereas they received adjuvant chemotherapy in case those factor were present. Chemotherapy schedules used in advanced cases were cisplatin and etoposide (EP) for seminoma and BEP or BOMP-EPI in non-seminoma, according to whether the patient was in the good or poor prognosis IGCCCG (International Germ-Cell Cancer Collaborative Group) group. Excision of residual masses was mandatory in non-seminomatous germ-cell tumour (NSGCT).


Initial local symptomatology was increased testis size in 90% of cases. Sonography was an excellent diagnostic tool to suggest tumour. Non-seminoma (64.2%) was more frequent than seminoma (35.8%). Approximately 10% had the antecedent of cryptorchidism. Non-seminoma patients were 7 years younger than seminoma. Right testis was involved predominantly. Pre-orchidectomy tumour markers were elevated in 21% of seminoma (betaHGC) and 79% in non-seminoma (alphaFP and/or betaHGC). Scrotum violation occurred in only 1.8%. There were significant differences among stage I and the IGCCCG prognosis groups related to a longer interval between the first symptom and orchiectomy. Eighteen percent of non-seminomatous germ-cell tumour belonged to the poor prognosis IGCCCG group. With a median follow-up to 33 months, this series has achieved a 3 year overall survival of 98% for seminoma and 94% for non-seminoma. Only 10% of excised residual masses present after chemotherapy contained malignant cells.


Spanish GCT have a similar clinical pattern to that described in the other occidental countries except for a slight increased proportion of non-seminoma upon seminoma. Co-operative groups as GG are unique structures to obtain quick and wide experience on the treatment of testis tumours, contributing to achieve a high cure rate.

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