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1.  Alternating dose-dense chemotherapy in patients with high volume disseminated non-seminomatous germ cell tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(10):1555-1560.
Only about half of patients with a poor-prognosis non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours can achieve a cure. The aim of this phase II study was to assess the efficacy and toxicity of a dose-dense alternating chemotherapy regimen in this subset of patients. High volume non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours was defined as follows: at least two sites of non pulmonary metastases, an extragonadal primary tumour, a serum human chorionic gonadotropin level higher than 10 000 mIU ml−1, or a alpha-foetoprotein level higher than 2000 mIU ml−1. Patients who fulfilled these criteria were treated with the so-called BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen (bleomycin, vincristine, and cisplatin; cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin; cisplatin, vincristine, methotrexate, and bleomycin; etoposide, dactinomycin, and cyclophosphamide) plus granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. A total of 58 patients were enrolled. Patients were retrospectively classified according to the International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group classification; 38 patients (66%) had poor-prognosis disease and 19 patients (33%) had intermediate-prognosis. Patients received a median of 2.5 courses (range 0.25 to five courses) of the BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen. Forty-two patients (72.4%) had a complete response to therapy. With a median follow-up time of 31 months, the 3-year progression-free survival rate was 71% (95% confidence interval, 60 to 84%) and the 3-year overall survival rate was 73% (95% confidence interval: 62 to 86%). The 3-year PFS rates were 83% (95% confidence interval: 68 to 100%) in the intermediate-prognosis group and 65% (95% confidence interval: 51 to 82%) in the poor-prognosis group. Early side effects included mainly grade 4 haematologic toxicity (neutropaenia in 79% of patients, thrombocytopaenia in 69%, anaemia in 22%), grade 4 stomatitis (19%), and four early deaths (7% of patients), at least partially related to toxicity. The dose-dense BOP-CISCA-POMB-ACE regimen is highly active in patients with non-seminomatous germ-cell tumours classified as intermediate-prognosis or poor-prognosis according to the International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group. Because outcomes with this regimen compare favourably with outcome after standard therapy, dose-dense chemotherapy should be further investigated in this subset of patients.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1555–1560. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600272
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2746595  PMID: 12085204
chemotherapy; dose-dense chemotherapy; germ-cell tumours; International Germ-Cell Cancer Consensus Group; non-seminomatous germ cell-tumours
2.  Responses and adverse effects of carboplatin-based chemotherapy for pediatric intracranial germ cell tumors 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2011;54(3):128-132.
Cisplatin-based chemotherapy has been commonly used for the treatment of intracranial germ cell tumors (IC-GCTs). However, this treatment exhibits some adverse effects such as renal problems and hearing difficulty. Carboplatin-based chemotherapy was administered to pediatric patients with IC-GCTs from August 2004 at the Samsung Medical Center. In this study, we assessed the responses and adverse effects of carboplatin-based chemotherapy in pediatric IC-GCTs patients according to the risk group, and compared the results with those of the previous cisplatin-based chemotherapy.
We examined 35 patients (27 men and 8 women) diagnosed with IC-GCTs between August 2004 and April 2008 and received risk-adapted carboplatin-based chemotherapy at the Samsung Medical Center. Patients were divided into either low-risk (LR) or high-risk (HR) groups and a retrospective analysis was performed using information from the medical records.
Although hematological complications were common, hearing difficulties or grade 3 or 4 creatinine level elevation were not observed in patients who underwent carboplatin-based chemotherapy. The frequency of febrile neutropenia did not differ between the risk groups. The overall survival was 100% and event-free survival (EFS) was 95.7%. The EFS rate was 100% in the LR group and 90% in the HR group, respectively.
Despite their common occurrence in high-risk patients, no lethal hematological complications were associated with carboplatin-based treatment. The current carboplatin-based chemotherapy protocol is safe and effective for the treatment of pediatric patients with IC-GCTs.
PMCID: PMC3120999  PMID: 21738543
Intracranial germ cell tumor; Carboplatin; Adverse effects
3.  The clinical characteristics and treatment outcome of 57 children and adolescents with primary central nervous system germ cell tumors 
Chinese Journal of Cancer  2014;33(8):395-401.
Primary central nervous system germ cell tumors (CNS-GCTs) in children and adolescents have unique clinical features and methods of treatment compared with those in adults. There is little information about Chinese children and adolescents with CNS-GCTs. Therefore, in this study we retrospectively analyzed the clinical features and treatment outcome of Chinese children and adolescents with primary CNS-GCTs. Between January 2002 and December 2012, 57 untreated patients from a single institution were enrolled. They were diagnosed with CNS-GCTs after pathologic or clinical assessment. Of the 57 patients, 41 were males and 16 were females, with a median age of 12.8 years (range, 2.7 to 18.0 years) at diagnosis; 43 (75.4%) had non-germinomatous germ cell tumors (NGGCTs) and 14 (24.6%) had germinomas; 44 (77.2%) had localized disease and 13 (22.8%) had extensive lesions. Fifty-three patients completed the prescribed treatment, of which 18 underwent monotherapy of surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, and 35 underwent multimodality therapies that included radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy or surgery combined with chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. PEB (cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin) protocol was the major chemotherapy regimen. The median follow-up time was 32.3 months (range, 1.2 to 139 months). Fourteen patients died of relapse or disease progression. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival rates for all patients were 72.2% and 73.8%, respectively. The 3-year EFS was 92.9% for germinomas and 64.8% for NGGCTs (P = 0.064). The 3-year EFS rates for patients with NGGCTs who underwent monotherapy and multimodality therapies were 50.6% and 73.5%, respectively (P = 0.042). Our results indicate that multimodality therapies including chemotherapy plus radiotherapy were better treatment option for children and adolescents with CNS-GCTs.
PMCID: PMC4135369  PMID: 25011460
Primary central nervous system germ cell tumors; chemotherapy; radiotherapy; survival rate; children
4.  Pre-Radiation Chemotherapy With Response-Based Radiation Therapy in Children With Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2007;48(3):285-291.
This Phase II study was designed to determine response to chemotherapy and survival after response-based radiation (RT) in children with CNS germ cell tumors.
Children with germinomas and normal markers received cisplatin 100 mg/m2 + etoposide, alternating with vincristine + cyclophosphamide (CPM) 2 g/m2/d, for four cycles. Children with nongerminomatous tumors or with abnormal markers received doubled doses of cisplatin and CPM. For germinoma patients in complete response (CR), RT was decreased from 50.4 to 30.6 Gy. High-risk patients received neuraxis RT: 50.4 Gy local + 30.6 Gy neuraxis in CR; 54 Gy local + 36 Gy if less than CR.
Of 12 germinoma patients, 4 had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) 6.9-21 mIU/ml. Of 14 nongerminomatous patients, HCG in serum or CSF was > 50 mIU/ml in 9, α-fetoprotein (AFP) abnormal in 9. Four germinoma patients attained CR, six PR, one SD, one not evaluable after resection. Two nongerminomatous patients had CR, three PR, three SD, one PD, four not evaluable after resection; one inadequately treated patient had progressive disease (PD). Both PD patients died; one SD patient died during a seizure. Eleven germinoma patients are PF at median 66 months; one patient in CR refused RT, had PD at 10 months, received RT, and was PF at 56 months. Eleven of 14 nongerminomatous patients were PF at median 58 months.
Response (germinoma, 91%; nongerminomatous, 55%) and survival are encouraging after this regimen plus response-based RT.
PMCID: PMC4086720  PMID: 16598761
brain tumors; chemotherapy; germinoma
5.  A national survey of the chemotherapy regimens used to treat small cell lung cancer (SCLC) in the United Kingdom 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;84(11):1447-1452.
Many chemotherapy regimens are used for treating SCLC in the United Kingdom, but it is not known, in any detail, which regimens are used, by which specialists, for which types of patient. We conducted a survey among all medical and clinical oncologists, respiratory physicians and general physicians with respiratory interest in the United Kingdom to find out. The questionnaire asked for the number of SCLC patients treated annually; how many were given chemotherapy; the drugs, doses and schedules chosen according to prognostic group (as defined by the clinician); and the reasons for choice of regimen. 1214 questionnaires were sent out, and responses were received from 1070 (88%) clinicians; 266 (25%) of these treated SCLC with chemotherapy. Of 4674 patients given chemotherapy annually, 36% were given it by clinical oncologists, 30% by medical oncologists, 27% by respiratory physicians, and 7% by general physicians. In all, 34 regimens were reported with 151 different combinations of dose and schedule. In 2311 good prognosis patients, 23 regimens were used, the commonest being ACE (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, etoposide), ICbE (ifosfamide, carboplatin, etoposide), CAV (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine), CbE (carboplatin, etoposide), and PE (cisplatin, etoposide). In 1517 poor prognosis patients, 21 regimens were used, the commonest being CAV, EV (etoposide, vincristine), CbE, CAV alternating with PE, and oral etoposide. 452 patients were treated regardless of prognosis and for 219 no prognostic criteria were specified. The remaining 175 were given second-line chemotherapy or were given regimens chosen to avoid toxicity or because of intercurrent disease or other reasons. The main reasons affecting choice of regimen were routine local practice, patients' convenience, quality of life considerations, trial results and cost. The results show wide variation in routine practice and will be useful in reporting and planning clinical trials and in deciding on local treatment policies. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363653  PMID: 11384091
small cell lung cancer; chemotherapy; national survey
6.  Adjuvant bleomycin, vincristine and cisplatin (BOP) for high-risk stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumours: a prospective trial (MRC TE17) 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;92(12):2107-2113.
Adjuvant BEP (bleomycin, etoposide, cisplatin) is effective treatment for high-risk clinical stage I (HRCS1) non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT), but the known toxicities of etoposide, and the expansion of the HR group to any patient with vascular invasion (50% of patients), led the Medical Research Council to pilot the BOP regimen. Patients received two courses of BOP 14 days apart: cisplatin 50 mg m−2 days 1 and 2, vincristine 1.4 mg m−2 (max. 2 mg) days 2 and 8, bleomycin 30 000 IU days 2 and 8. Primary outcome was relapse rate; quality of life, fertility, hearing and lung function were assessed pre- and post-treatment. In all, 100 patients were required. A total of 115 eligible patients were registered, all received two courses of chemotherapy. Median follow-up is 70 months; two relapses have occurred and the 5-year relapse-free rate is 98.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 95.5%, 99.9%). As assessed by clinicians during treatment, complete (reversible) alopecia was present in 20% of patients; World Health Organization (WHO) grade 1/2 neurotoxicity was present in 41%/5% of patients during treatment and 22%/1% at 6 months. However, 12% of patients reported ‘quite a bit' or ‘very much' pain/numbness/tingling in hands/feet 2 years after chemotherapy. Mature follow-up confirms high efficacy for two courses of cisplatin-based adjuvant chemotherapy in HRCS1 NSGCT. Substituting vincristine for etoposide decreases alopecia, but gives a low incidence of significant neuropathy. There are no clearcut advantages to 2 × BOP over 2 × BEP, except for patients who wish to maximise the chance of avoiding significant alopecia.
PMCID: PMC2361823  PMID: 15928672
adjuvant chemotherapy; stage I non-seminoma
7.  Intensive induction chemotherapy with C-BOP/BEP for intermediate- and poor-risk metastatic germ cell tumours (EORTC trial 30948) 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(11):1209-1214.
New chemotherapy regimens are continuously explored in patients with high-risk malignant germ cell tumours (MGCTs). This multicentre phase II trial assessed the efficacy and toxicity of C-BOP/BEP chemotherapy in intermediate and poor prognosis MGCT (IGCCCG criteria). C-BOP/BEP treatment consisted of cycles of cisplatin, vincristine, bleomycin and carboplatin, followed by one cycle of vincristine and bleomycin and three cycles of BEP (bleomycon, etoposide, cisplatin). The trial was designed to demonstrate a 1-year progression-free survival rate of 80%, that is, to exclude a 1-year rate of 70% or less, with a one-sided significance level of 5%. Secondary end points included toxicity, overall survival and the postchemotherapy complete response rate. In total, 16 European hospitals entered 66 eligible patients (intermediate prognosis group: 37; poor prognosis group: 29). A total of 45 patients (68.2%, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 56.9–79.4%) achieved a complete response (intermediate prognosis: 30; poor prognosis: 15). After a median observation time of 40.4 months (range: 13.7–66.3), the 1-year progression-free survival rate was 81.8% 95% CI: 72.5–91.1%). The 2-year overall survival was 84.5% (95% CI: 75.6–93.3%). In all, 51 patients experienced at least one episode of WHO grade 3/4 leucopenia, and at least one event of grade 3/4 thrombocytopenia occurred in 30 patients. There was no toxic death. With an 82% 1-year progression-free survival and a lower limit of the 95% CI above 70%, the efficacy of C-BOP/BEP is comparable to that of published alternative chemotherapy schedules in high-risk MGCT patients. The treatment's toxicity is manageable in a multicentre setting. In poor prognosis patients, C-BOP/BEP should be compared to standard chemotherapy of four cycles of BEP.
PMCID: PMC2361516  PMID: 16251877
intermediate and poor prognosis metastatic germ cell tumours; bleomycin; carboplatin; vincristine; cisplatin; etoposide
8.  Consolidative high-dose chemotherapy after conventional-dose chemotherapy as first salvage treatment for male patients with metastatic germ cell tumours 
Some men with metastatic germ cell tumours that have progressed after response to initial cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy are cured with conventional dose first salvage chemotherapy (CDCT) – however, many are not. High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell rescue (HDCT) may be of value in these patients. Prognosis has recently been better defined by International Prognostic Factor Study Group (IPFSG) prognostic factors. HDCT after response to CDCT has been offered at our institution over the past two decades. We retrospectively assessed the validity of the IPFSG prognostic factors in our patients and evaluated the value of HDCT.
We identified eligible men with metastatic germ cell tumour progressed after at least 3 cycles of cisplatin-based chemotherapy and treated with cisplatin-based CDCT alone or with carboplatin-based HDCT. We also collected their clinical data. Patients were classified into risk groups using IPFSG factors, and progression-free and overall survival factors were analyzed and compared in patients treated with CDCT alone and with HDCT.
We identified 38 eligible first salvage patients who had received a median of 4 cycles (range, 1 to 7 cycles) of CDCT. Twenty patients received CDCT alone and 18 patients received CDCT plus HDCT. The overall median progression- free survival was 24.6 months (95%CI, 7.3 to 28.7 months) and overall median overall survival was 34.6 months (95%CI, 17.2 to 51.3 months). Distribution by IPFSG category and 2-year progression- free survival and 3-year overall survival rates within each risk category were very similar to the IPFSG results. There were two toxic deaths with CDCT and none with HDCT. Overall, patients treated with CDCT plus HDCT had improved progression- free survival and overall survival.
The IPFSG prognostic risk factors appeared valid in our patient population. The safety of HDCT with etoposide and carboplatin was confirmed. HDCT was associated with improved progression- free survival and overall survival outcomes, consistent with observations of the IPFSG group. Ideally, the value of optimal HDCT should be determined in comparison to optimal CDCT as first salvage therapy in men with metastatic germ cell tumour with a randomized trial.
PMCID: PMC3328550  PMID: 22511417
9.  Long-term outcome in patients with germ cell tumours treated with POMB/ACE chemotherapy: comparison of commonly used classification systems of good and poor prognosis. 
British Journal of Cancer  1989;59(2):236-242.
We analysed outcome in 206 consecutive male patients treated for metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell tumour (NSGCT) of testicular or extragonadal origin treated with the POMB/ACE (cisplatin, vincristine, methotrexate, bleomycin, actinomycin D, cyclophosphamide, etoposide) regimen after division into prognostic groups by commonly used clinical classification systems and definitions of adverse prognosis. The adverse prognostic groups of all classification systems and definitions examined showed similar, but only moderate, sensitivity (71-81%) and specificity (52-56%) in predicting death. A simple definition of poor prognosis based on raised initial levels of serum tumour markers alpha fetoprotein (aFP) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) proved at least as useful (sensitivity 80%, specificity 55%) as other more complicated systems in predicting failure to achieve long-term survival. Comparison of survival between ultra-high dose cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy and patients treated with POMB/ACE shows no advantage from this more toxic approach. This suggests that good results in adverse prognosis patients can be achieved using conventional dose regimens administered intensively.
PMCID: PMC2247005  PMID: 2467682
10.  Pilot Study of Cisplatin, Etoposide, Bleomycin, and Escalating Dose Cyclophosphamide Therapy for Children With High Risk Germ Cell Tumors: A Report of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2013;60(10):1602-1605.
To establish the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and toxicity profile of cyclophosphamide with cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin (C-PEB) in children with high-risk malignant germ cell tumors (HR-MGCT).
Eligibility criteria included untreated patients ≤ 21 years of age with stage III/IV extragonadal, extra cranial MGCT. Patients received four cycles (repeated every 3 weeks) of cisplatin (20 mg/m2/day × 5 days), etoposide (100 mg/m2/day × 5 days), and bleomycin (15 mg/m2 on Day 1) with escalating doses of cyclophosphamide on Day 1, assigned at the time of enrollment (1.2, 1.8, or 2.4 g/m2). Patients with complete response had therapy discontinued. Patients with residual disease underwent second-look surgery, those with pathologic evidence of residual MGCT or whose markers had not normalized received two more cycles. All other patients had protocol therapy stopped.
Nineteen patients were enrolled between July 2004 and August 2007. Three patients were non-evaluable. Sixteen patients completed four cycles. Eleven had complete response, one had progressive disease and four had partial response. All four with partial response underwent second look surgery followed by two more cycles. Only one patient, on dose 1.8 g/m2, experienced dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) during the first cycle of therapy (grade 3 hyperglycemia). The 4-year EFS and OS (± standard deviation) were 74 ± 7% and 89 ± 10%, respectively.
The addition of cyclophosphamide to the standard PEB regimen (cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin) is feasible and well-tolerated at all dose levels used on this study.
PMCID: PMC4303038  PMID: 23703725
cyclophosphamide; germ cell tumors; maximum tolerated doses
11.  A Phase II Study (CCG 9931) of Pre-Radiotherapy Chemotherapy Followed by Hyperfractionated Radiotherapy for Newly Diagnosed High Risk Medulloblastoma/PNET: A Report from the Children’s Oncology Group 
Children with high risk medulloblastoma and non-cerebellar PNET’s were treated on a phase II study of pre-radiotherapy chemotherapy (CHT) followed by high dose, hyperfractionated craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT). The protocol objectives were to verify feasibility and monitor progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
Methods and Materials
Eligibility criteria included age >3 years at diagnosis, medulloblastoma with either high M stage and/or >1.5 cm2 post-op residual disease and all patients with non-cerebellar PNET. Treatment was initiated with 5 alternating monthly cycles of CHT [A (cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, etoposide and vincristine, B (carboplatin and etoposide), A, B and A] followed by hyperfractionated CSRT (40 Gy) with a boost to the primary tumor (72 Gy) given in twice daily 1 Gy fractions.
The valid study group consisted of 124 patients whose median age at diagnosis was 7.8 years. Eighty-four (68%) patients completed the entire protocol within the study guidelines of 9 months and the median time to complete CSRT was 1.6 months. Major reasons for failure to complete CHT included progressive disease (17%) and toxic death (2.4%). The 5-year PFS and OS were 43 ± 5% and 52 ± 5%. No significant differences were detected in subset analysis related to response to CHT, site of primary tumor, post-op residual disease or M-stage.
The feasibility of this intensive multi-modality protocol was confirmed and response to pre-RT CHT did not impact on survival. Survival data from this protocol can not be compared to other studies, given the protocol design.
PMCID: PMC2739055  PMID: 19356859
PNET; Medulloblastoma; High risk; Hyperfractionated radiotherapy; Pre-radiation chemotherapy
12.  Testicular cancer: seminoma 
Clinical Evidence  2011;2011:1807.
More than half of painless solid swellings of the body of the testis are malignant, with a peak incidence in men aged 25 to 35 years. Most testicular cancers are germ cell tumours and half of these are seminomas, which tend to affect older men and have a good prognosis.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of treatments in men with stage 1 seminoma (confined to testis) who have undergone orchidectomy? What are the effects of treatments in men with good-prognosis non-stage 1 seminoma who have undergone orchidectomy? What are the effects of maintenance chemotherapy in men who are in remission after orchidectomy and chemotherapy for good-prognosis non-stage 1 seminoma? What are the effects of treatments in men with intermediate-prognosis seminoma who have undergone orchidectomy? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to June 2010 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 29 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review, we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: chemotherapy (maintenance, adjuvant, single-agent carboplatin, 3 or 4 cycles, different number of cycles of adjuvant, using bleomycin added to vinblastine plus cisplatin, using etoposide plus cisplatin with or without bleomycin, adding higher doses to a 2-drug chemotherapy regimen using cisplatin or vinblastine); radiotherapy (different adjuvant regimens [20 Gy in 10 fractions to para-aortic area, 30 Gy in 15 fractions to para-aortic area and iliac nodes], different drug combinations, 30–36 Gy in 15–18 fractions); and surveillance.
Key Points
More than half of painless solid swellings of the body of the testis are malignant, with a peak incidence in men aged 25 to 35 years. Most testicular cancers are germ cell tumours and about half of these are seminomas, which tend to affect older men and have a good prognosis.
In men with seminoma confined to the testis (stage 1), standard treatment is orchidectomy followed by radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or surveillance. All 3 management options are associated with cure rates approaching 100% because of successful salvage therapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy reduces the risk of relapse after orchidectomy compared with surveillance, but is associated with short-term adverse effects (nausea, diarrhoea, and indigestion) and possible long-term risks of reduced fertility and development of second malignancies.We don't know which is the most effective chemotherapy regimen, or the optimum number of cycles to use. The high cure rate with standard therapy makes it difficult to show which alternative therapy is superior.Toxicity is lower, but efficacy the same, with adjuvant irradiation of 20 Gy in 10 fractions compared with 30 Gy in 15 fractions, or with irradiation to para-aortic nodes compared with ipsilateral iliac nodes.
In men with good-prognosis non-stage 1 seminoma who have had orchidectomy, radiotherapy may improve survival and be less toxic than chemotherapy, except in men with large-volume disease, in whom chemotherapy may be more effective. Combined chemotherapy may be more effective than single agents, but 3 cycles seem to be as effective as 4 and with less toxicity.A standard radiotherapy treatment comprises 30 to 36 Gy in 15 to 18 fractions (2 Gy per fraction), although we don't know whether this is more effective than other regimens.
In men who are in remission after orchidectomy plus chemotherapy for good-prognosis, non-stage 1 seminoma, further chemotherapy is unlikely to reduce relapse rates or increase survival. Chemotherapy increases survival in men with intermediate-prognosis seminomas who have had orchidectomy; although evidence for this is derived mostly from treatment of intermediate-prognosis non-seminoma, it is likely to be generalisable to intermediate-prognosis seminoma.
PMCID: PMC3217763  PMID: 21477387
13.  Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Support for Multiple Cycles of Dose Intensive Induction Therapy is Feasible with Little Risk of Tumor Contamination in Advanced Stage Neuroblastoma; A Report from the Childrens Oncology Group 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2010;54(4):596-602.
Poor outcome in Stage 4 neuroblastoma may be improved with increased dose intensity of therapy. We investigated the feasibility of sequential collection and infusion of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) as hematopoietic support for non-myeloablative dose intensive induction chemotherapy given every 21-28 days.
Twenty-two children with Stage 4 neuroblastoma (≥ 1yr of age) received 2 cycles of high dose cyclophosphamide (4 gm/m2), doxorubicin (75mg/m2) and vincristine (2mg/m2) followed by 3 cycles of interpatient dose escalating carboplatin (dose level 0 = 800 mg/m2; dose level 1 = 1000 mg/m2), high dose cyclophosphamide (4 gm/m2) and etoposide (600 mg/m2). PBSC were harvested following cycle 2, 3, and 4 in Cohort 1 and infused after each subsequent cycle. In Cohort 2, PBSC were harvested after cycle 2 and split into 3 aliquots for infusion. Dose limiting toxicity (DLT) and ability to administer cycles within 28 days was assessed.
Sufficient PBSC (≥ 2 × 106 CD34 cells/kg per infusion) were collected from 17/21 eligible patients with minimal toxicity and no detectable neuroblastoma cells by immunocytology. Carboplatin at 1000 mg/m2 resulted in DLT of delayed platelet recovery > 28 days in 4/8 patients. Despite de-escalation to 800 mg/m2, platelet DLT occurred in 4/7 Cohort 1 and 3/7 Cohort 2 patients.
As defined in this protocol, doses of carboplatin were not tolerable with the PBSC dose administered. However, it was feasible to collect sufficient PBSC from small neuroblastoma patients to use as hematopoietic support with minimal risk of tumor contamination and toxicity.
PMCID: PMC2905158  PMID: 20049927
neuroblastoma; peripheral blood stem cell support; dose intensity; carboplatin
Pediatric blood & cancer  2009;53(1):17-22.
We report a prospective study of secondary leukemia (SL)/myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in neuroblastoma (NB) patients treated with ≥5 cycles of dose-intensive chemotherapy.
NB patients received induction with high-dose cyclophosphamide (4200 mg/m2)-doxorubicin (75 mg/m2)-vincristine (cycles 1, 2, 4, 6, 8), and high-dose cisplatin (200 mg/m2)-etoposide (600 mg/m2) (cycles 3, 5, 7). Bone marrow was examined every 1–3 months for ≥36 months, with inclusion of extensive chromosomal studies 1–3 months post-induction and 1–2×/year thereafter.
184 patients received 5 (n=76), 6 (n=45), 7 (n=59), or 8 (n=4) cycles. Eight patients developed SL/MDS (only one each in the 5- and 6-cycles groups), at 12–50 months, including two cases detected in surveillance studies. Among 108 patients who received ≥6 cycles, the 5-year cumulative incidence was 7.1% (95% CI: 2%, 12.2%), versus 0% among 54 patients who received 5 cycles without maintenance oral etoposide. Five-year cumulative incidences were 1.46%, 2.28%, and 8.47% among patients in the 5-, 6-, and 7-cycle groups, with fewer cycles having a significantly lower risk (p=0.048). There was no significant association of risk with potentially leukemogenic consolidative treatments (targeted radiotherapy, myeloablative therapy, and oral etoposide).
Reducing the number of dose-intensive cycles significantly decreases the risk of SL/MDS, yielding 5-year rates matching the low range (0.4% to 2.2%) reported for moderate-dose combination chemotherapy regimens used against other pediatric solid tumors.
PMCID: PMC4079040  PMID: 19148951
alkylating agents; chromosomal aberrations; topoisomerase II inhibitors
15.  Phase III randomised trial of doxorubicin-based chemotherapy compared with platinum-based chemotherapy in small-cell lung cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2008;99(3):442-447.
This randomised trial compared platinum-based to anthracycline-based chemotherapy in patients with small-cell lung cancer (limited or extensive stage) and ⩽2 adverse prognostic factors. Patients were randomised to receive six cycles of either ACE (doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 i.v., cyclophosphamide 1 g/m2 i.v. and etoposide 120 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1, then etoposide 240 mg/m2 orally for 2 days) or PE (cisplatin 80 mg/m2 and etoposide 120 mg/m2 i.v. on day 1, then etoposide 240 mg/m2 orally for 2 days) given for every 3 weeks. For patients where cisplatin was not suitable, carboplatin (AUC6) was substituted. A total of 280 patients were included (139 ACE, 141 PE). The response rates were 72% for ACE and 77% for PE. One-year survival rates were 34 and 38% (P=0.497), respectively and 2-year survival was the same (12%) for both arms. For LD patients, the median survival was 10.9 months for ACE and 12.6 months for PE (P=0.51); for ED patients median survival was 8.3 months and 7.5 months, respectively. More grades 3 and 4 neutropenia (90 vs 57%, P<0.005) and grades 3 and 4 infections (73 vs 29%, P<0.005) occurred with ACE, resulting in more days of hospitalisation and greater i.v. antibiotic use. ACE was associated with a higher risk of neutropenic sepsis than PE and with a trend towards worse outcome in patients with LD, and should not be studied further in this group of patients.
PMCID: PMC2527803  PMID: 18665190
small-cell lung cancer; chemotherapy; randomised clinical trial; cisplatin; doxorubicin
16.  Current Update of Management of Clinical Stage I Non Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumors of Testis 
The management of patients with testicular germ cell tumors (GCT) has evolved significantly over the past 30 years with cure rates approaching nearly 100% for low-stage disease and more than 80% for advanced disease. Controversy surrounds about ideal management of clinical stage I non seminomatous germ cell tumors (CS I NSGCT) of the testis due to multiple treatment options available with more or less equal efficacy. Nerve-sparing retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND), adjuvant chemotherapy with two cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin , or surveillance have all achieved long-term survival in nearly 100% of patients with clinical stage I NSGCT. Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection is still favoured as the therapy of choice for clinical stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumors in many centres, but as risk factors for the primary tumor have become better understood, surveillance and risk-adapted therapy, including surveillance for low-risk patients and adjuvant chemotherapy for the high-risk group, is now being considered a therapeutic option. The objective of this study is to review current developments in the management of CS I NSGCT testis with emphasis on risk stratification and treatment recommendations.
PMCID: PMC3392487  PMID: 23730098
Testis cancer; NSGCT stage 1; Surveillance; Chemotherapy; RPLND
17.  Late relapse of non-seminomatous testicular cancer during treatment of multiple sclerosis with interferon β-1a: A case report 
Oncology Letters  2014;8(5):2179-2182.
Germ cell tumors (GCTs) comprise 95% of malignant tumors arising in the testes. The present study reports a patient diagnosed with non-seminomatous testicular cancer, stage IB, with a good risk prediction according to the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group classification. The patient received chemotherapy with bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin, and achieved complete remission. Eleven years later, while receiving treatment with interferon β-1a for multiple sclerosis, the patient developed a relapse of the original cancer in the lungs and lymph nodes. The majority of GCTs relapse within the first two years of treatment, while 2–4% of patients can present with late relapses. There is no clear established association between multiple sclerosis and testicular cancer; we present the hypothesis that the inmunosupressor treatment that was administered for the multiple sclerosis promoted the cancer relapse.
PMCID: PMC4186558  PMID: 25289098
inmunosupression; non-seminomatous germ cell tumor; late relapse; β-interferon; multiple sclerosis
18.  TI-CE High-Dose Chemotherapy for Patients With Previously Treated Germ Cell Tumors: Results and Prognostic Factor Analysis 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2010;28(10):1706-1713.
We previously reported a dose-finding and phase II trial of the TI-CE regimen (paclitaxel [T] plus ifosfamide [I] followed by high-dose carboplatin [C] plus etoposide [E] with stem-cell support) in germ cell tumor (GCT) patients predicted to have a poor prognosis with conventional-dose salvage therapy. We now report the efficacy of TI-CE with prognostic factors for disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) in our full data set of 107 patients.
Patients and Methods
Eligible patients had advanced GCTs with progressive disease following chemotherapy and unfavorable prognostic features (extragonadal primary site, incomplete response [IR] to first-line therapy, or relapse/IR to ifosfamide-cisplatin–based conventional-dose salvage). Univariate and multivariate analyses (MVAs) of prognostic factors were performed. The predictive ability of the Einhorn and Beyer prognostic models was assessed.
Most patients were platinum refractory and had an IR to first-line chemotherapy. There were 54 (5%) complete and eight (8%) partial responses with negative markers; 5-year DFS was 47% and OS was 52% (median follow-up, 61 months). No relapses occurred after 2 years. Five (24%) of 21 primary mediastinal nonseminomatous GCTs are continuously disease free. On MVA, primary mediastinal site (P < .001), two or more lines of prior therapy (P < .001), baseline human chorionic gonadotropin ≥ 1,000 U/L (P = .01), and lung metastases (P = .02) significantly predicted adverse DFS. Poor-risk patients did worse than good- or intermediate-risk patients according to both Beyer (P < .002) and Einhorn (P < .05) models.
TI-CE is effective salvage therapy for GCT patients with poor prognostic features. Mediastinal primary site and two or more lines of prior therapy were most predictive of adverse DFS. Beyer and Einhorn models can assist in predicting outcome.
PMCID: PMC3651604  PMID: 20194867
19.  Reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue for children with newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2010;45(2):120-126.
In this study, we investigated the effects of reduced-dose craniospinal radiotherapy (CSRT) followed by tandem high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell rescue (ASCR) in children with a newly diagnosed high-risk medulloblastoma (MB) or supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor (sPNET).
Between March 2005 and April 2007, patients older than 3 years with a newly diagnosed high-risk MB or sPNET were enrolled. The patients received two cycles of pre-RT chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and cyclophosphamide (cycle A), and carboplatin, etoposide, vincristine, and ifosphamide (cycle B), followed by CSRT with 23.4 Gy and local RT with 30.6 Gy. After four cycles of post-RT chemotherapy (cycles A, B, A, and B), tandem double HDCT with ASCR was performed.
A total of 13 patients (MB=11, sPNET=2) were enrolled. Of these, one patient progressed, one patient died of septic shock after the second cycle of B, and one patient relapsed after the third cycle of B. The 3-year event-free survival (EFS) rate of the patients intended for HDCT was 76.9%, whereas the 3-year EFS rate of the patients who received HDCT was 100%. No treatment-related mortality occurred during HDCT.
Although the follow-up period was short and the patient cohort was small in size, the results of this study are encouraging. The limited toxicity and favorable EFS rate observed in children treated with reduced-dose CSRT followed by HDCT and ASCR warrant further exploration in a larger study population.
PMCID: PMC2983022  PMID: 21120191
Radiotherapy; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous stem cell transplantation; Medulloblastoma; Supratentorial primitive neuroectodermal tumor; Children
20.  Adult medulloblastoma: multiagent chemotherapy. 
Neuro-Oncology  2001;3(1):29-34.
In this study, the records of 17 adult patients with medulloblastoma treated with craniospinal radiation and 1 of 2 multiagent chemotherapy protocols were reviewed for progression-free survival, overall survival, and toxicity, and the patients were compared with each other and with similarly treated children and adults. Records of patients treated at 3 institutions were reviewed. Seventeen medulloblastoma patients (11 female, 6 male) with a median age of 23 years (range, 18-47 years) were treated with surgery, craniospinal radiation (CSRT) plus local boost, and 1 of 2 adjuvant chemotherapy regimens. All tumors were infratentorial (10 in 4th ventricle and 7 in left or right hemisphere). Ten patients presented with hydrocephalus, and 7 of them were shunted. Eight patients had gross total resection, 7 had subtotal resection (>50% removed), and 2 had partial resection (<50% removed). Postoperatively, 3 patients had positive cytology and 3 had positive spinal MRI. Five patients were classified as good risk and 12 were classified as poor risk (Chang staging system). Ten patients were treated with the "Packer protocol," consisting of CSRT plus weekly vincristine followed by 8 cycles of cisplatin, lomustine, and vincristine. Seven patients were treated with the Pediatric Oncology Group (POG) protocol, consisting of alternating courses of cisplatin/etoposide and cyclophosphamide/vincristine, followed by CSRT. Eight of 17 patients relapsed, with all 8 relapsing at the primary site. Other relapse sites included the leptomeninges (5), bone (1), and brain (1). The estimated median relapse-free survival (Kaplan-Meier) for all patients was 48 months (95% confidence interval, >26 months to infinity). Median relapse-free survival for patients on the Packer protocol was 26 months, and for those on the POG regimen was 48 months (P = 0.410). Five of 10 on the Packer protocol were relapse-free, while 4 of 7 were relapse-free on the POG regimen. Two patients relapsed during chemotherapy and 6 relapsed after completing all therapy at 18, 18, 26, 30, 40, and 48 months. The estimated median survival of all patients was 56 months (95% confidence interval, 27 to infinity) with 11 patients alive; for the Packer protocol, median survival was 36 months, and for the POG protocol, it was 57 months (P = 0.058). The hazard ratio was 0 (95% confidence interval, 0 to infinity). Toxicity during the Packer protocol was moderately severe, with only 1 of 10 patients able to complete all therapy. Two patients had severe abdominal pain during CSRT + vincristine, and 5 had peripheral neuropathy during vincristine therapy. Hearing loss (>20 dB) occurred in 7, neutropenia (<500 microl) in 6, thrombocytopenia (<50,000 microl) in 6, nephrotoxicity (>25% decrease by creatinine clearance) in 2, and decreased pulmonary function (diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide decrease >40%) in 1. On the POG protocol, only 1 patient had persistent nausea and vomiting, 2 had peripheral neuropathy, and 3 had hearing deficit (>20 dB) or tinnitus. The POG and Packer protocols did not have a statistically significant difference in relapse-free or overall survival because of the small sample size. The POG protocol seemed to have less nonhematologic toxicity. Adults on the Packer protocol appeared to have shorter median survival and greater toxicity than did children. To know whether adding adjuvant chemotherapy to craniospinal radiation in adult therapy increases relapse-free and overall survival, we must await the results of a larger randomized controlled clinical trial.
PMCID: PMC1920599  PMID: 11305414
21.  The risk of thrombo-embolic events is increased in patients with germ-cell tumours and can be predicted by serum lactate dehydrogenase and body surface area 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(8):909-914.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of thrombo-embolic events (TEE) in patients with germ-cell tumours (GCT) who receive cisplatin-based chemotherapy, to compare this risk to that of a matched control group of non-GCT cancer patients, and to identify risk factors of TEE. The rate of TEE during the 6 months following the initiation of chemotherapy was assessed in 100 consecutive patients with GCT and in 100 controls with various neoplasms who were matched on sex and age, and who received first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy during the same period of time at Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France. Data were subsequently tested on a validation group of 77 GCT patients treated in Lyon, France. A total of 19 patients (19%) (95% confidence interval (CI): 13–28) and six patients (6%) (95% CI: 3–13) had a TEE in the GCT group and the non-GCT control group, respectively (relative risk (RR): 3.4; P<0.01). Three patients from the GCT group died of pulmonary embolism. In multivariate analysis, two factors had independent predictive value for TEE: a high body surface area (>1.9 m2) (RR: 5 (1.8–13.9)) and an elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (RR: 6.4 (2.3–18.2)). Patients with no risk factor (n=26) and those with at least one risk factor (n=71) had a probability of having a TEE of 4% (95% CI: 1–19) and 26% (95% CI: 17–37), respectively. In the GCT validation set, 10 (13%) patients had a TEE; patients with no risk factor and those with at least one risk factor had a probability of having a TEE of 0 and 17% (95% CI: 10–29), respectively. Patients with GCT are at a higher risk for TEE than patients with non-GCT cancer while on cisplatin-based chemotherapy. This risk can be accurately predicted by serum LDH and body surface area. This predictive index may help to study prospectively the impact of thromboprophylaxis in GCT patients.
PMCID: PMC2361657  PMID: 16205699
cancer of the testis; chemotherapy; cisplatin; germ-cell tumour; thrombosis
22.  Response-Dependent and Reduced Treatment in Lower Risk Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children and Adolescents, Results of P9426: A Report from the Children’s Oncology Group 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2012;59(7):1259-1265.
Hodgkin lymphoma is highly curable but associated with significant late effects. Reduction of total treatment would be anticipated to reduce late effects. This aim of this study was to demonstrate that a reduction in treatment was possible without compromising survival outcomes.
Protocol P9426, a response-dependent and reduced treatment for low risk Hodgkin lymphoma (stages I, IIA, and IIIA1) was designed in 1994 based on a previous pilot project. Patients were enrolled from 10/15/1996 to 09/19/2000. Patients were randomized to receive or not receive Dexrazoxane and received 2 cycles of chemotherapy consisting of Doxorubicin, Bleomycin, Vincristine, and Etoposide. After 2 cycles, patients were evaluated for response. Those in complete response (CR) received 2550 cGy of involved field radiation therapy (IFRT). Patient with partial response or stable disease, received 2 more cycles of chemotherapy and IFRT at 2550 cGy.
There were 294 patients enrolled, with 255 eligible for analysis. The 8 year event free survival (EFS) between the Dexrazoxane randomized groups did not differ (EFS 86.8 + 3.1% with DRZ, and 85.7 + 3.3% without DRZ (p=0.70). Forty five percent of patients demonstrated CR after two cycles of chemotherapy. There was no difference in EFS by histology, rapidity of response, or number of cycles of chemotherapy. Six of the eight secondary malignancies in this study have been previously reported.
Despite reduced therapy and exclusion of most patients with Lymphocyte Predominant histology, EFS and overall survival are similar to other reported studies. The protocol documents that it is safe and effective to reduce therapy in low risk Hodgkin lymphoma based on early response to chemotherapy with rapid responding patients having the same outcome as slower-responding patients when given 50% of the chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3468662  PMID: 22911615
Response-dependent; Hodgkin lymphoma; children and adolescents
23.  High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation for advanced testicular cancer 
Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy  2011;11(7):1091-1103.
High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous stem cell support has been studied in both the salvage and first-line setting in advanced germ cell tumor (GCT) patients with poor-risk features. While early studies reported significant treatment-related mortality, introduction of peripheral blood stem cell transplantation, recombinant growth factors and better supportive care have decreased toxicity; and in more recent reports treatment-related deaths are observed in <3% of patients. Two to three cycles of high-dose carboplatin and etoposide is the standard backbone for HDCT, given with or without additional agents including ifosfamide, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Three large randomized Phase III trials have failed to show a benefit of HDCT over conventional-dose chemotherapy (CDCT) in the first-line treatment of patients with intermediate- or poor-risk advanced GCT, and to date the routine use of HDCT has been reserved for the salvage setting. Several prognostic models have been developed to help predict outcome of salvage HDCT, the most recent of which applies to both CDCT and HDCT in the initial salvage setting. Patients that relapse after HDCT are usually considered incurable, and additional therapy is provided with palliative intent.
PMCID: PMC3253700  PMID: 21806332
chemotherapy; germ cell tumors; high-dose chemotherapy; stem cell transplantation; testicular cancer
24.  A phase II trial of TIP (paclitaxel, ifosfamide and cisplatin) given as second-line (post-BEP) salvage chemotherapy for patients with metastatic germ cell cancer: a medical research council trial 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(2):178-184.
This phase II trial describes the use of TIP chemotherapy (paclitaxel, ifosfamide and cisplatin) as salvage for patients with metastatic germ cell cancer (GCC) who have failed initial BEP (bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin) chemotherapy. Patients with first relapse following BEP for metastatic GCC, confirmed by biopsy or sequentially rising markers, received four courses of TIP (paclitaxel 175 mg m−2 day 1, followed on days 1–5 by ifosfamide 1 g m−2 intravenously (i.v.) and cisplatin 20 mg2 i.v.) at 3-weekly intervals. The primary outcome measure was response to TIP. In all, 51 patients were registered, of whom 43 were eligible for response assessment. Eight achieved complete remission (CR) and 18 a partial remission with negative markers (PR−ve); favourable response rate (FRR=CR+PR−ve) 60%, 95% CI (44–75%); survival at 1 year was 70% (56–84%) and failure-free survival 36% (22–50%). In the group of 26 patients meeting the ‘good-risk' criteria described by the Memorial Hospital, the FRR was 73% (52–88%) compared with 41% (18–67%) for the 17 ‘poor-risk' patients. These results are inferior to those previously reported for TIP in a single-centre study when it was given more intensively, at higher dose and with growth factor support. Nonetheless, TIP as described here can cure a substantial proportion of patients.
PMCID: PMC2361542  PMID: 15999102
cisplatin; ifosfamide; metastatic germ cell cancer; paclitaxel; salvage chemotherapy
25.  Long term outcome of high-risk neuroblastoma patients after immunotherapy with antibody ch14.18 or oral metronomic chemotherapy 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:21.
The treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients consists of multimodal induction therapy to achieve remission followed by consolidation therapy to prevent relapses. However, the type of consolidation therapy is still discussed controversial. We applied metronomic chemotherapy in the prospective NB90 trial and monoclonal anti-GD2-antibody (MAB) ch14.18 in the NB97 trial. Here, we present the long term outcome data of the patient cohort.
A total of 334 stage 4 neuroblastoma patients one year or older were included. All patients successfully completed the induction therapy. In the NB90 trial, 99 patients received at least one cycle of the oral maintenance chemotherapy (NB90 MT, 12 alternating cycles of oral melphalan/etoposide and vincristine/cyclophosphamide). In the NB97 trial, 166 patients commenced the MAB ch14.18 consolidation therapy (six cycles over 12 months). Patients who received no maintenance therapy according to the NB90 protocol or by refusal in NB97 (n = 69) served as controls.
The median observation time was 11.11 years. The nine-year event-free survival rates were 41 ± 4%, 31 ± 5%, and 32 ± 6% for MAB ch14.18, NB90 MT, and no consolidation, respectively (p = 0.098). In contrast to earlier reports, MAB ch14.18 treatment improved the long-term outcome compared to no additional therapy (p = 0.038). The overall survival was better in the MAB ch14.18-treated group (9-y-OS 46 ± 4%) compared to NB90 MT (34 ± 5%, p = 0.026) and to no consolidation (35 ± 6%, p = 0.019). Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed ch14.18 consolidation to improve outcome compared to no consolidation, however, no difference between NB90 MT and MAB ch14.18-treated patients was found.
Follow-up analysis of the patient cohort indicated that immunotherapy with MAB ch14.18 may prevent late relapses. Finally, metronomic oral maintenance chemotherapy also appeared effective.
PMCID: PMC3031264  PMID: 21244693

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