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1.  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
2.  Late Recurrence and Second Primary Malignancy among 139 Patients with Germ Cell Tumors: Long-term Outcome of the Disease in a Single-center Experience 
We retrospectively evaluated long-term oncological outcomes in patients with germ cell tumors (GCTs) primarily treated at our institution and assessed late recurrence and second primary malignancies.
This study included a total of 139 males with newly diagnosed GCTs of the testis or extragonadal origin who received treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, at our hospital between 1980 and 2005. We reviewed late recurrence that occurred at least 2 years after the initial disease-free status and secondary malignancies as well as oncological outcomes.
In patients with seminoma, 5-year progression-free survival and cause-specific survival rates were 87.2% and 100% for Stage I, 88.9% and 100% for Stage II, and 50.0% and 50.0% for Stage III, respectively, whereas in those with non-seminomatous GCTs, they were 79.1% and 96.3% for Stage I, 89.5% and 89.4% for Stage II, and 85.7% and 78.4% for Stage III, respectively. Late recurrence was found in five (3.6%) patients and all of them responded to salvage treatment and achieved disease-free status. Second primary hematological neoplasms occurred in three (2.2%), although they had a long-term free of the primary disease. All died of the second primary disease.
Late recurrence was successfully managed with appropriate treatments, although its incidence was not negligible. Periodic follow-up may be necessary for >5 years in patients with GCTs for early detection of late recurrence. In addition, care should be taken to watch for the development of life-threatening second primary malignant disease during long-term follow-up.
PMCID: PMC2813544  PMID: 19906660
urology; urologic-med; urologic-radOncol
3.  Efficacy of high-dose chemotherapy or standard salvage therapy in patients with recurrent medulloblastoma 
Neuro-Oncology  2008;10(5):745-751.
The efficacy of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) or standard salvage therapy was evaluated in patients with recurrent medulloblastoma (MBL) using retrospective chart review of all patients with recurrent MBL treated at Duke University Medical Center between 1995 and 2005 and who had undergone HDC with or without radiotherapy (RT) or standard salvage therapy after relapse. A total of 30 patients were diagnosed with recurrent MBL after standard RT alone or chemotherapy with RT. Nineteen patients (7 who received no RT before recurrence [group A] and 12 who received definitive RT before recurrence [group B]) underwent surgery and/or induction chemotherapy followed by HDC plus autologous stem-cell rescue. Eleven patients (group C) underwent standard salvage therapy. Six of seven group A patients also received standard RT just before or after recovery from HDC, and 5 of 12 group B patients received adjuvant palliative focal RT post-HDC. At a median follow-up of 28 months, three of seven patients in group A are alive and disease-free at ⩾34, ⩾110, and ⩾116 months, respectively, post-HDC. All patients in groups B and C have died of tumor, at a median of 35 months and 26 months from HDC and standard salvage therapy, respectively. HDC or standard salvage therapy was ineffective in our patients with recurrent MBL who had received standard RT before recurrence. The favorable impact of HDC on disease control in the two long-term survivors cannot be clearly established due to the cofounding effect of definitive RT postrecurrence.
PMCID: PMC2666251  PMID: 18755919
angiogenesis; Avastin; bevacizumab; bio-markers; glioblastoma; glioma
4.  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
5.  Gonadal germ cell tumors in children and adolescents 
Pediatric germ cell tumors (GCT) are rare tumors: 80% are benign, 20% malignant (2-3% of all malignant pediatric tumors). The gonadal sites (ovary and testis) account for 40% of cases.
Ovarian GCTs:
Represent 30% of GCTs and 70% of neoplastic ovarian masses, being the most common ovarian neoplasms in children and teenagers. Benign and immature forms (teratomas) constitute about 80% of all ovarian GCTs, malignant forms represent 20% increasing during adolescence. The most common malignant entity in children is the yolk sac tumors (YST); dysgerminoma is frequent during adolescence and being bilateral in 10% of cases. Presentation is similar in malignant and benign lesions; abdominal pain (70-80%) and lower abdominal mass are common symptoms. Evaluation of alpha-fetoprotein (αFP) or beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (βHCG) is essential to address the nature of the tumors: Their elevation means presence of malignancy. Surgery includes intraoperative staging procedures and requires ovariectomy or ovarosalpingectomy for malignant lesions, but may be conservative in selected benign tumors. Since malignant GCTs are very chemosensitive, primary chemotherapy is recommended in metastatic or locally advanced tumors.
Testicular GCT:
Represent 10% of pediatric GCT, and about 30% of malignant GCT with two age peaks: Children <3 years may experience mature teratoma and malignant GCTs, represented almost exclusively by YST, while adolescents may also show seminomas or other mixed tumors. The main clinical feature is a painless scrotal mass. Surgery represents the cornerstone of the management of testicular GCTs, with an inguinal approach and a primary high orchidectomy for malignant tumors, while a testis-sparing surgery can be considered for benign lesions. A retroperitoneal lymph node (LN) biopsy may be necessary to define the staging when the involvement of retroperitoneal LN is uncertain at imaging investigations.
Patients with gonadal malignant GCTs fare better than those with extragonadal mediastinal germ cell tumors (MGCTs) and survival rate exceeds 90% in localized forms. Chemotherapy has significantly improved the outcome of malignant forms since the introduction of platinum based regimens. The surgical procedure has to be performed in agreement with the ongoing protocols.
PMCID: PMC4204242  PMID: 25336799
Children; germ cell tumors; gonadal
6.  Prognostic factors in patients progressing after cisplatin-based chemotherapy for malignant non-seminomatous germ cell tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  1999;80(9):1392-1399.
The aim of this study was to define prognostic parameters for survival in patients with malignant germ cell tumours progressing after platinum-based induction chemotherapy with or without surgery. A total of 164 progressing patients (testicular: 83%, extragonadal: 17%) were identified out of 795 patients treated with platinum-based induction chemotherapy for metastatic germ cell malignancy with or without surgery. ‘Progressive disease’ included patients who had progressed after a previous partial or complete remission as well as patients who failed primary therapy. Salvage chemotherapy consisted of ‘conventional’ platinum-based chemotherapy. Prognostic factors for survival were assessed by uni- and multivariate analyses. The resulting prognostic model was validated in an independent data set of 66 similar patients. For all 164 patients the median time from start of induction chemotherapy to progression was 10 months (range: 0–99). Thirty-eight (23%) patients relapsed after 2 years. The 5-year survival rate for all progressing patients was 30% (95% confidence interval 23–38%). In the univariate analysis the following factors most importantly predicted a poor prognosis: progression-free interval < 2 years: initial poor prognosis category (MRC criteria), < CR to induction chemotherapy, initial treatment early in the 1980s and treatment given at a ‘small’ centre. Three prognostic factors remained in the multivariate analysis: progression-free interval, response to induction treatment and the level of serum human chronic gonadotrophin (hCG) and alpha fetoprotein (AFP) at relapse. One hundred and twenty-four patients could be classified on the basis of these characteristics, Those patients with progression-free interval < 2 years, < CR to induction chemotherapy and high markers at relapse (AFP >100 kU l−1 or hCG >100 IU l−1) formed a poor prognosis group of 30 patients, none of whom survived after 3 years. Patients with at most two of these three risk factors formed a good prognosis group of 94 patients (76%) with a 47% (37–56%) 5-year survival. Thirty-eight patients from the good prognosis group with a progression-free interval of >2 years had a 2-year survival of 74% (60–88%) and 5-year survival of 61%. These prognostic groups were validated in the independent data set, in which 5-year survival rates in the good and poor risk groups were 51% and 0% respectively. One-third of patients progressing during or after platinum-based induction chemotherapy for metastatic germ cell malignancy may be cured by repeated ‘conventional’ platinum-based chemotherapy. Good prognosis parameters are: progression-free interval of > 2 years, CR to induction treatment and normal or low serum markers at relapse (hCG < 100 IU l−1 and AFP < 100 kU l−1). The results of high-dose salvage chemotherapy should be interpreted on the background of these prognostic factors. © 1999 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2363071  PMID: 10424741
germ cell malignancy; relapse; cisplatin-based chemotherapy; survival
7.  Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for Refractory or Poor-Risk Relapsed Hodgkin's Lymphoma: Effect of the Specific High-Dose Chemotherapy Regimen on Outcome 
More active high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) regimens are needed for refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL). We report a cohort analysis of 180 consecutive patients with primary refractory or poor-risk relapsed HL treated with busulfan-melphalan (Bu-Mel) (n = 39), gemcitabine-busulfan-melphalan (Gem-Bu-Mel) (n = 84), or BEAM (BCNU, etoposide, ara-C, melphalan; n = 57) between 2005 and 2010. Their pre-HDC positron emission tomography (PET) scans were interpreted prospectively. Despite more prevalent poor-risk features in the Gem-Bu-Mel cohort, such as PET-positive tumors at HDC, tumors growing at HDC, extranodal disease, or bulky tumors at prior relapse, this cohort had improved outcomes compared with the Bu-Mel and BEAM cohorts, with event-free survival (EFS) rates of 57%, 33%, and 39%, respectively (P = .01), at median follow-up of the whole population of 36 months (range, 3 to 72). Their respective overall survival (OS) rates were, respectively, 82%, 52%, and 59% (P = .04). Secondary acute myelogenous leukemia was seen in 5 patients after BEAM but was not seen in Gem-Bu-Mel and Bu-Mel cohorts (P = .004). Multivariate analyses showed independent adverse effects of an HDC regimen different from Gem-Bu-Mel (hazard ratio [HR] for EFS = 2.3, P = .0008; HR for OS = 2.7, P = .0005), positive PET at HDC (HR for EFS 2.2, P = .004, HR for OS = 3.1, P = .0001), and >1 previous salvage line (HR for EFS = 1.9, P = .008, HR for OS = 1.8, P = .07). Gem-Bu-Mel improved outcomes in this cohort analysis of patients with refractory/poor-risk relapsed HL and merits evaluation in randomized phase III trials.
PMCID: PMC4077191  PMID: 23128322
Gemcitabine; High-dose chemotherapy; Autologous transplantation; Refractory; Hodgkin
8.  Idiopathic pneumonia syndrome after high-dose chemotherapy for relapsed Hodgkin's disease. 
British Journal of Cancer  1997;75(7):1044-1048.
The risk of idiopathic pneumonia syndrome (IPS) in patients with Hodgkin's disease (HD) undergoing high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) is significant, and once developed IPS is potentially fatal. The aim of this study was to quantify this risk accurately and determine prognostic factors for its development and course. Using a computerized database, all patients with HD treated with BCNU (carmustine) containing HDC and haematopoietic support at The Royal Marsden between November 1985 and March 1994 were identified. Patient characteristics, previous treatments, disease status at HDC, dose of BCNU, incidence and severity of IPS and survival were all determined and analysed. During the study period, 94 patients received HDC, of whom 26 (28%) had a first episode of IPS within a year of HDC and 23 within 6 months. The median time to presentation after HDC was 93 days (range 12-336 days). The only factors that significantly increased the risk of developing IPS on multivariate analysis were dose of BCNU (P for trend = 0.03) and female sex (P = 0.04). Of these 26 patients, 14 had complete resolution of all symptoms, three had persisting pulmonary symptoms at 6 months and the remaining nine died of IPS at a median of 74 days (19-418 days). All the patients who died from IPS had the first symptoms within 6 months of HDC and all received doses of BCNU > 475 mg m(-2) (P for trend = 0.001). For women receiving > 475 mg m(-2) the risk of death was significantly higher than for men (P = 0.035) but not for those receiving < 475 mg m(-2). Previous lung disease, persisting residual disease before HDC, previous bleomycin or previous mantle radiotherapy did not increase either the incidence of IPS or risk of a fatal outcome. We conclude that the main avoidable risk factor for fatal IPS after HDC is dose of BCNU, and this is especially true for women. If < 475 mg m(-2) is given, even patients with previous mantle radiotherapy and/or previous bleomycin have a very low risk of developing fatal lung toxicity if lung function tests are normal.
PMCID: PMC2222758  PMID: 9083341
9.  Atypical extragonadal germ cell tumors 
To review the experience with the diagnosis and management of extragonadal germ cell tumors (GCT) with a subset analysis of those with atypical features.
Materials and Methods:
A retrospective chart review of patients of extragonadal germ cell tumors between 2000 and 2010 was carried out.
Fifteen children aged 7 days to 15 years (median, 1.5 years) were included. Three had an antenatal diagnosis (one sacrococcygeal, one retrobulbar, one retroperitoneal tumor) and were operated in the neonatal period. The locations were distributed between the retrobulbar area (1), anterior neck-thyroid gland (1), mediastinum (4), abdominothoracic extending through the esophageal hiatus (1), retroperitoneal (4) and sacrococcygeal (4). On histological examination, five harbored immature elements while two were malignant; the latter children received postexcision adjuvant chemotherapy. There was no mortality. At a median follow-up of 4.5 years (6 months to 8 years), 14/15 have had an event-free survival. One immature mediastinal teratoma that recurred locally 7.5 years after the initial operation was excised and adjuvant chemotherapy instituted.
Extragonadal GCTs in children are uncommon and occasionally present with atypical clinical, radiological and histological features resulting in diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas.
PMCID: PMC3263044  PMID: 22279357
Extragonadal; germ cell tumor; atypical
10.  Pediatric primary central nervous system germ cell tumors of different prognosis groups show characteristic miRNome traits and chromosome copy number variations 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:132.
Intracranial pediatric germ cell tumors (GCTs) are rare and heterogeneous neoplasms and vary in histological differentiation, prognosis and clinical behavior. Germinoma and mature teratoma are GCTs that have a good prognosis, while other types of GCTs, termed nongerminomatous malignant germ cell tumors (NGMGCTs), are tumors with an intermediate or poor prognosis. The second group of tumors requires more extensive drug and irradiation treatment regimens. The mechanisms underlying the differences in incidence and prognosis of the various GCT subgroups are unclear.
We identified a distinct mRNA profile correlating with GCT histological differentiation and prognosis, and also present in this study the first miRNA profile of pediatric primary intracranial GCTs. Most of the differentially expressed miRNAs were downregulated in germinomas, but miR-142-5p and miR-146a were upregulated. Genes responsible for self-renewal (such as POU5F1 (OCT4), NANOG and KLF4) and the immune response were abundant in germinomas, while genes associated with neuron differentiation, Wnt/β-catenin pathway, invasiveness and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (including SNAI2 (SLUG) and TWIST2) were abundant in NGMGCTs. Clear transcriptome segregation based on patient survival was observed, with malignant NGMGCTs being closest to embryonic stem cells. Chromosome copy number variations (CNVs) at cytobands 4q13.3-4q28.3 and 9p11.2-9q13 correlated with GCT malignancy and clinical risk. Six genes (BANK1, CXCL9, CXCL11, DDIT4L, ELOVL6 and HERC5) within 4q13.3-4q28.3 were more abundant in germinomas.
Our results integrate molecular profiles with clinical observations and provide insights into the underlying mechanisms causing GCT malignancy. The genes, pathways and microRNAs identified have the potential to be novel therapeutic targets.
PMCID: PMC2837036  PMID: 20178649
11.  Sequential bilateral testicular tumours presenting with intervals of 20 years and more 
BMC Urology  2013;13:71.
About 3 – 5% of all patients with testicular germ cell tumour (GCT) develop a contralateral cancer, the majority of which arise within 10–15 years. Little is known about the risk of second GCTs after more than two decades. Here we present 3 cases with very late presenting contralateral GCT and provide a summary of similar cases reported previously.
Case presentations
(1) This white Caucasian man underwent right-sided orchiectomy for a nonseminomatous GCT at the age of 22 years. Additional treatment consisted of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) and chemotherapy with 4 cycles of vinblastin / bleomycin. 36 years later, contralateral seminoma clinical stage 1 developed. Cure was achieved by orchiectomy. Histologically, testicular intraepithelial neoplasia (TIN; intratubular germ cell neoplasia) was detected in the tumour-surrounding tissue.
(2) This white Caucasian male had right-sided orchiectomy for nonseminomatous GCT at the age of 29 years. Pathological stage 1 was confirmed by RPLND. 25 years later, he received left sided orchiectomy for seminoma stage 1. Histologically, TIN was found in the tissue adjacent to seminoma. Two brothers had testicular GCT, too, one with bilateral GCT. (3) This 21 year old white Caucasian man underwent left-sided orchiectomy for nonseminomatous GCT. Pathological stage 1 was confirmed by RPLND. 21 years later, he received organ-preserving excision of a right-sided seminoma, followed by BEP chemotherapy for stage 3 disease. Histologically, TIN was found in the surrounding testicular tissue.
22 cases of bilateral GCT with intervals of 20 or more years have previously been reported, thereof three with intervals of more than 30 years, the longest interval being 40 years.
Apart from increased risks of cardiovascular diseases and non-testicular malignancies, patients with GCT face the specific probability of a second GCT in the long run. This risk persists life-long and is not eliminated by chemotherapy. Contralateral testicular biopsy can identify patients at risk by revealing precursor cells of GCT though false-negative biopsies may occur sporadically. However, in view of the multi-facetted late hazards of GCT patients, this minor surgical procedure might somewhat simplify the long-time care of these patients.
PMCID: PMC4028980  PMID: 24321309
Testicular germ cell neoplasms; Bilateral tumours; Testicular biopsy; Seminoma; Familial germ cell tumours
12.  Testicular Germ Cell Tumors with Sarcomatous Components: An Analysis of 33 Cases 
The American journal of surgical pathology  2009;33(8):10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181adb9d7.
The development of sarcomatous component (SC) in testicular germ cell tumor (GCT) is an uncommon phenomenon. We searched our surgical pathology files from 1985 to 2007 and identified 33 cases of testicular GCTs with SC. The average age of patients was 31 years. All patients underwent radical orchiectomy, which demonstrated a GCT in all patients except for 3 patients who had received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. All testicular GCTs contained a teratomatous component. The GCTs were pure teratomas in 3 cases, and were mixed GCTs in the other cases. The SC was observed in primary testicular tumor (n = 19), in metastasis (n = 11), or in both primary testicular tumor and metastasis (n=3). The average percentage of the SC in the primary testicular GCT was 32% (range, 5% to 99%). The most common histologic type of SC was rhabdomyosarcoma (n = 24), followed by high-grade unclassified sarcoma (n = 5), rhabdomyosarcoma admixed with high-grade unclassified sarcoma (n = 2), angiosarcoma (n = 1), and low-grade myxoid sarcoma (n = 1). Clinical follow-up information was available for 27 patients. Of the 13 patients whose SC was limited to the testicular GCT, 2 died of GCT not otherwise specified (NOS) at 37 and 68 months, respectively; and 11 patients were free of disease at a mean of 46 months. Of the 14 patients with a SC in the metastasis, 7 patients died of GCT NOS at a mean of 95 months, and 7 patients were free of disease at a mean of 104 months. These results suggest that patients with a SC confined to the primary testicular GCT may not have a higher risk of mortality than those at a comparable stage without a SC. However, patients with a SC in the metastasis have an increased risk of mortality.
PMCID: PMC3812063  PMID: 19561445
testicular germ cell tumor; sarcomatous component; rhabdomyosarcoma
13.  Clinical Results of High-Dose Chemotherapy Followed by Autologous Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation in Children with Advanced Stage Rhabdomyosarcoma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2012;27(9):1066-1072.
Regardless of improvement in cure of Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), the results in treatment of advanced stage of RMS in children are still dismal. Recently, high-dose chemotherapy followed by autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (HDC/APBSCT) has been tried to manage the advanced high-risk RMS patients. We investigated the effectiveness of HDC/APBSCT by reviewing the clinical records of high-risk pediatric RMS patients in single institute database. Over twenty years, 37 patients were diagnosed as RMS with high-risk at the time of first diagnosis. These patients were classified as two groups according to treatment method. The first group was HDC/APBSCT and the other was conventional multi-agent chemotherapy group. Differences of clinical results between the two groups were analyzed. The median age of patients was 5 yr, ranging from 6 months to 15 yr. The 5-yr event free survival rate (EFS) of all patients was 24.8% ± 4.8%. HDC/APBSCT group and conventional multi-agent chemotherapy group were 41.3% ± 17.8% and 16.7% ± 7.6% for 5-yr EFS, respectively (P = 0.023). There was a significant difference in the result of HDC/APBSCT between complete remission or very good partial response group and poor response group (50% ± 20.4% vs 37.5% ± 28.6%, P = 0.018). HDC/APBSCT can be a promising treatment modality in high-risk RMS patients.
PMCID: PMC3429825  PMID: 22969254
Rhabdomyosarcoma; Children; Chemotherapy; Bone Marrow Transplantation
14.  High-Dose Chemotherapy With Autologous Stem-Cell Support As Adjuvant Therapy in Breast Cancer: Overview of 15 Randomized Trials 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(24):3214-3223.
Adjuvant high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (AHST) for high-risk primary breast cancer has not been shown to prolong survival. Individual trials have had limited power to show overall benefit or benefits within subsets.
We assembled individual patient data from 15 randomized trials that compared HDC versus control therapy without stem-cell support. Prospectively defined primary end points were relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). We compared the effect of HDC versus control by using log-rank tests and proportional hazards regression, and we adjusted for clinically relevant covariates. Subset analyses were by age, number of positive lymph nodes, tumor size, histology, hormone receptor (HmR) status, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status.
Of 6,210 total patients (n = 3,118, HDC; n = 3,092 control), the median age was 46 years; 69% were premenopausal, 29% were postmenopausal, and 2% were unknown menopausal status; 49.5% were HmR positive; 33.5% were HmR negative, and 17% were unknown HmR status. The median follow-up was 6 years. After analysis was adjusted for covariates, HDC was found to prolong relapse-free survival (RFS; hazard ratio [HR], 0.87; 95% CI, 0.81 to 0.93; P < .001) but not overall survival (OS; HR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.02; P = .13). For OS, no covariates had statistically significant interactions with treatment effect, and no subsets evinced a significant effect of HDC. Younger patients had a significantly better RFS on HDC than did older patients.
Adjuvant HDC with AHST prolonged RFS in high-risk primary breast cancer compared with control, but this did not translate into a significant OS benefit. Whether HDC benefits patients in the context of targeted therapies is unknown.
PMCID: PMC4322115  PMID: 21768471
15.  Late Relapse and Follow-up Protocols in Testicular Germ Cell Tumours: The Edinburgh Cancer Centre Experience and Review of the Literature 
To identify clinicopathological features and outcomes in patients with late relapse (LR) of testicular germ cell tumours (GCTs) in order to guide follow-up policy.
Materials and Methods
The Edinburgh Cancer Centre (ECC) database identified all patients diagnosed with testicular GCT between 1988 and 2002. Of 703 patients, six relapsed more than 24 months after their initial treatment. A retrospective casenote review was performed to extract clinical, pathological, treatment and outcome data.
Six patients (0.85%) underwent late relapse. All patients presented initially with stage I disease and five were classified as good risk (International Germ Cell Consensus Classification, IGCCC). Median time to LR was 31 months. Two patients had previously relapsed less than 24 months from initial diagnosis. Markers at the time of relapse were normal in all patients. In all cases of late relapse disease was confined to axial lymphadenopathy. Three patients were treated with chemotherapy alone, two patients underwent surgical resection and one patient received combined treatment. All patients obtained a complete response and all remain disease free with a median follow-up of 52 months.
The incidence of late relapse in this series is low. Chemo-naive patients with LR were successfully salvaged with chemotherapy alone and patients previously exposed to cisplatin-based chemotherapy were salvaged with complete surgical excision. The optimal length of follow-up in patients with testicular germ cell tumours is not known and practice varies widely. In this cohort of 703 patients, only one patient who relapsed was picked up by additional clinic follow-up between 5 and 10 years. Thus, on the basis of this small series, the authors suggest that follow-up after five years may not be justified.
PMCID: PMC3161629  PMID: 21892262
follow-up; germ cell tumors; late relapse
16.  Are there candidates for high-dose chemotherapy in ovarian carcinoma? 
Prognosis of advanced ovarian carcinomas (AOC) remains poor with a 5-year survival of 30%. Benefit from high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) in this disease has not been demonstrated to date.
To evaluate the value of HDC as consolidation treatment after surgery and platinum/taxane-based therapy, we designed a monocentric retrospective comparative study. We used a subset approach to identify parameters associated with HDC efficacy.
One hundred and three AOC patients treated with conventional chemotherapy alone (CCA) were compared to 60 patients receiving HDC plus hematopoietic stem cell support. After a median follow-up of 47.5 months there was no overall survival (OS) advantage for the HDC group in the whole population (p=0.29). Nevertheless, HDC was associated to a better outcome in young patients (≤50 years), both in term of progression-free survival (p=0.02, log-rank test) and OS (p=0.05, log-rank test). Median OS was 54.6 and 36 months in the HDC and CCA groups, respectively.
Although randomized trials failed to demonstrate any benefit for HDC in AOC patients, this study suggests that young patients may derive a substantial advantage from receiving it after the standard treatment. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm this gain and to search for the biological processes associated with this improvement.
PMCID: PMC3523074  PMID: 23072336
Ovarian carcinomas; Prognosis; High dose chemotherapy; Stem cell support
17.  Paclitaxel, ifosfamide, and cisplatin (TIP) as salvage and consolidation chemotherapy for advanced germ cell tumor 
The purpose of the study was to assess the efficacy of TIP as salvage chemotherapy for germ cell tumor (GCT) patients with relapsed disease or cisplatin (CDDP)-refractory disease and consolidation chemotherapy for patients who responded unfavorably to first-line chemotherapy.
Forty-three patients with advanced GCT were treated with TIP. Eleven with relapsed disease and five with CDDP-refractory disease received TIP as salvage chemotherapy. The remaining 27 received TIP as consolidation chemotherapy following initial induction chemotherapy. All patients received prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.
In total, 116 cycles of TIP were administered with a median of three cycles (range 1–4 cycles) per patient. Before TIP, 33 patients showed elevated tumor marker and 23 patients (70 %) achieved marker normalization with the chemotherapy. One of six (17 %) patients with refractory disease and 5 of 10 (50 %) patients with relapsed disease achieved durable complete response (CR) after TIP with or without surgery. Eighteen of 27 (67 %) patients receiving TIP as consolidation chemotherapy achieved durable CR. Five additional patients were given further chemotherapy and achieved durable CR. Grade 4 leukocytopenia and thrombocytopenia were observed in 91 and 42 % of patients, respectively; all were managed with routine supportive care. Grade 2 and grade 3 sensory neuropathy was observed in 37 and 2 % of patients, respectively.
The TIP was effective for relapsed patients with favorable risk features and selected CDDP-refractory GCT patients. Results of TIP as consolidation for patients with unfavorable response to the initial chemotherapy were also encouraging. The toxicities were mainly myelosuppression and sensory neuropathy.
PMCID: PMC4282876  PMID: 25062721
TIP; Salvage; Chemotherapy; Germ cell tumor
18.  Bone disease in testicular and extragonadal germ cell tumours. 
British Journal of Cancer  1988;58(6):793-796.
Of 297 patients with metastatic testicular and extragonadal germ cell tumours (GCT), bone involvement was detected clinically in 3% (7/251) of those at first presentation and in 9% (4/46) of relapsed cases. This difference was not statistically significant (95% confidence limits -2%; +14%). Concurrent systemic metastases, commonly involving lung (7/11 cases) and para-aortic lymph nodes (6/11), were present in all patients with bone disease. All affected patients had localized bone pain and lumbar spine was the most frequent site involved (9/11). Spinal cord compression occurred in two patients while a third developed progressive vertebral collapse after chemotherapy and required extensive surgical reconstruction. At median follow-up of 4 years, survival among patients presenting with bone disease (6/7) was similar to overall survival in the whole group (84%) and appeared better than in those with liver (18/26, 69%) or central nervous system (6/9) metastases at presentation. Back pain in metastatic germ cell tumours is often due to retroperitoneal lymphadenopathy but lumbar spine osseus metastases must be recognized early if severe potential complications, such as spinal cord compression, are to be avoided. In this series, bone metastases were not seen in the absence of widespread systemic disease suggesting all solitary bony lesions in GCT patients should be biopsied.
PMCID: PMC2246879  PMID: 3224081
19.  Clinicopathological and immunohistochemical features of primary central nervous system germ cell tumors: a 24-years experience 
Primary central nervous system (CNS) germ cell tumors (GCTs) are a rare heterogeneous group of lesions, which the clinicopathological features have a marked degree of heterogeneity comparing with that of gonadal GCTs. Accurately diagnosing CNS GCTs might be extremely difficult and requires immunohistochemical verification. This study was to investigate the biological feature of CNS GCTs and diagnostic value of immunohistochemical markers OCT3/4, C-kit, PLAP, and CD30 in CNS GCTs. A retrospective study was performed on 34 patients with CNS germ cell tumors between 1990 and 2014. 34 CNS GCTs account for 9.2% of all primary CNS neoplasms. The sellar region (35.3%) and pineal gland (17.6%) were the most common sites of intracranial GCTs. Hydrocephalus (82.4%) and diplopia (46.9%) were the two most common clinical presentations. The most common histological subtypes were germinoma (67.6%). PLAP, c-kit, OCT3/4 were highly expressed in gernimomas. CD30 and CK AE1/3 stainings were positive in embryonal carcinoma. Yolk sac tumor component showed positive staining for AFP and CK AE1/3. β-HCG staining was positive in choriocarcinoma and STGC. Patients with mature teratomas and germinomas had a better prognosis (a 5-year survival rate) than those with embryonal carcinoma and choriocarcinoma (a 5-year survival rates were 0). Our finding suggest that the incidences of primary CNS GCTs are higher in South China than in the West, but mixed GCTs are uncommon in our study. The judicious use of a panel of selected markers is helpful in diagnosing and predicting the prognosis for CNS GCTs.
PMCID: PMC4230147  PMID: 25400782
Central nervous system; germ cell tumors; C-kit; PLAP; OCT3/4; CD30
20.  Single high-dose etoposide and melphalan with non-cryopreserved autologous marrow rescue as primary therapy for relapsed, refractory and poor-prognosis Hodgkin's disease. 
British Journal of Cancer  1994;70(3):526-530.
A simplified schedule of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) consisting of melphalan (140 mg m-2) plus VP16 (2.5 g m-2) given over 12-18 h together with autologous non-cryopreserved autologous bone marrow transplant (ABMT) was used for treatment of relapsed (37 patients) and refractory (seven patients) patients and as first-line treatment (four patients) for poor-prognosis Hodgkin's disease. Two patients had a second HDC-ABMT after relapse following prior HDC-ABMT, giving a total of 50 procedures among 48 patients. The haematological recovery rate was 98% with a complete response rate of the Hodgkin's disease of > 90%. Factors significantly influencing response rate were performance status and the presence of liver involvement. Thirty-nine patients are alive, with 37 in continuous complete remission. The median duration of survival and median duration of remission have not been reached at a median follow-up time of 45 months. Adverse prognostic factors for survival were disease status at the time of HDC-ABMT (refractory versus relapse, with primarily refractory patients showing significantly poor survival) and the presence of liver involvement. High-dose chemotherapy with short-duration chemotherapy and non-cryopreserved bone marrow is an effective and safe treatment modality for patients with relapsed and poor-prognosis Hodgkin's disease.
PMCID: PMC2033336  PMID: 8080741
21.  Highlights from the Third International Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumour symposium: laying the foundations for future consensus 
ecancermedicalscience  2013;7:333.
The Third International Central Nervous System (CNS) Germ Cell Tumour (GCT) Symposium brought together over 100 delegates from all over the world to learn about the latest developments in these tumours and discuss future strategies for their management. Some areas of consensus were agreed upon, and controversies were discussed. Among these, the classification of GCTs and the surgical approach to their management were among the greatest areas of difference between different parts of the world. The need for radiotherapy (RT) as a part of standard first-line management for all malignant CNS GCTs was agreed, as well as the need for additional chemotherapy to maximise the cure in nongerminomatous malignant GCTs; the benefit of the addition of chemotherapy in localised germinoma to reduce the RT burden was also accepted as a good practice. The potential of biological parameters to assist the future diagnosis, treatment stratification, and disease monitoring for CNS GCTs was discussed. Such biological parameters may also represent targets for the development of novel therapies. The need for further collaboration between groups engaged in biological studies was agreed. The merits of proton beam RT were debated, and the importance of mitigating the long-term side effects of the treatment was underlined by a session on late effects.
PMCID: PMC3709531  PMID: 23861728
Third International CNS GCT Symposium; central nervous system; germ cell tumour; germinoma; nongerminoma
22.  High-Dose Chemotherapy of Cyclophosphamide, Thiotepa, and Carboplatin (CTCb) Followed by Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation for Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients: A 6-Year Follow-Up Result 
The benefit of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is controversial. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of HDC with cyclophosphamide, thiotepa, and carboplatin (CTCb) followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) for MBC patients.
Materials and Methods
From September 1994 to December 1999, 23 MBC patients were enrolled. All the patients received 2 to 10 cycles of induction chemotherapy. Before transplantation, 12 patients were in complete response (CR), nine were in partial response (PR), and two had progressive disease (PD). The HDC regimen consisted of cyclophosphamide 1,500 mg/m2/day, thiotepa 125 mg/m2/day and carboplatin 200 mg/m2/day intravenously for 4 consecutive days.
After ASCT, 13 patients (56%) had a CR, five (22%) had a PR, three (13%) had no change, while two (9%) showed a PD. Seventeen patients relapsed or progressed during the median follow-up of 78 months. The median progression-free survival (PFS) time was 11 months and the median overall survival (OS) time was 23 months. The 5-year PFS and OS rates were 22% and 25%, respectively. On the multivariate analyses, less than 4 involved lymph nodes was predictive of a better PFS and OS.
HDC with CTCb for MBC has acceptable toxicity; however, this treatment does not show a survival benefit.
PMCID: PMC2785419  PMID: 19956506
Metastatic breast neoplasms; High-dose chemotherapy; Cyclophosphamide; Thiotepa; Carboplatin
23.  High-Dose Chemotherapy of Cyclophosphamide, Thiotepa and Carboplatin (CTCb) followed by Autologous Stem-Cell Transplantation as a Consolidation for Breast Cancer Patients with 10 or more Positive Lymph Nodes: a 5-Year follow-Up Results 
The benefit of consolidation high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) for high-risk primary breast cancer is controversial. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of consolidation HDC with cyclophosphamide, thiotepa and carboplatin (CTCb) followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT) in resected breast cancer patients with 10 or more positive lymph nodes.
Materials and Methods
Between December 1994 and April 2000, 22 patients were enrolled. All patients received 2 to 6 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer. The HDC regimen consisted of cyclophosphamide 1,500 mg/m2/day, thiotepa 125 mg/m2/day and carboplatin 200 mg/m2/day intravenous for 4 consecutive days.
With a median follow-up of 58 months, 11 patients recurred and died. The median disease-free survival (DFS) and median overall survival (OS) were 49 and 69 months, respectively. The 5-year DFS and OS rates were 50% and 58%, respectively. The 12 patients with 10 to 18 involved nodes had better 5-year DFS (67%) and OS (75%) than 10 patients with more than 18 involved nodes (30% and 38%, respectively). The most common grade 3 or 4 nonhematologic toxicity was diarrhea, which occurred in 5 patients (23%). No treatment-related death was observed.
Consolidation HDC with CTCb followed by ASCT for resected breast cancer with more than 10 positive nodes had an acceptable toxicity but does not show promising survival.
PMCID: PMC2785413  PMID: 19956494
Breast Neoplasms; Peripheral blood stem cell transplantation; Cyclophosphamide; Thiotepa; Carboplatin; Consolidation
24.  Neuropsychological functions and quality of life in survived patients with intracranial germ cell tumors after treatment 
Neuro-Oncology  2013;15(11):1543-1551.
The notable survival chances of intracranial germ cell tumors (icGCTs) lead to a rising concern over long-term neurocognitive outcome. Yet, prior evidence related to this issue fails to provide a comprehensive examination of the effects of tumor location and radiotherapy. We attempt to explore their impacts on the neuropsychological functions and life quality in children with icGCT after multimodality treatments.
A retrospective review of 56 patients diagnosed with icGCTs at age <20 and treated at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital was provided. Intelligence, memory, visual organization, attention, and executive function were assessed by neurocognitive tests; adaptation to life, emotional and behavioral changes, interpersonal relationships, and impact on the family were evaluated by parent-report instruments. Effects of tumor locations (germinomas and nongerminomatous malignant germ cell tumors in the pineal, suprasellar, and basal ganglia) and irradiation on these measurements were examined.
Patients with tumors in the basal ganglia region had lower full-scale IQs than those with tumors in the pineal or suprasellar regions. Subscores of intelligence scale and short-term retention of verbal and visual stimuli showed evident group differences, as did the quality of life and adaptive skills, particularly in psychosocial domains. Patients treated with whole-ventricular irradiation had better outcomes. Extensive irradiation field and high irradiation dosage influenced intellectual functions, concept crystallization, executive function, and memory.
Tumor location and irradiation field/dosage appear to be the crucial factors related to certain neuropsychological, emotional, and behavioral dysfunctions that in turn alter the quality of life in children with icGCTs who survive after treatment.
PMCID: PMC3813422  PMID: 24101738
basal ganglia; intracranial germ cell tumors; neurocognitive functions; quality of life; whole ventri-cular irradiation
25.  The “extended” endoscopic endonasal approach for the removal of a mixed intrasuprasellar germinoma: Technical case report 
Intracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs) represent less than 5% of pediatric brain tumors. Neurosurgical treatment remains essential in the management of patients with intracranial nongerminomatous GCT.
Case Description:
A 12-year-old girl presented with clinical features of neurohypophyseal dysfunction and rapidly progressive visual worsening. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a lesion arising from the sella with a significant suprasellar component, compressing the optic chiasm and extending into the third ventricle. The tumor was removed via an endoscopic endonasal transtuberculum-transplanum approach and the histology revealed a mixed germinoma. In the postoperative course, a conspicuous improvement of visual function was observed; an early postoperative MRI showed near-total removal of the lesion. The patient was referred to pediatric oncologist for the adjunctive chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The management of primary intracranial sellar and suprasellar germinomas still remains controversial. With this report we highlighted another possible surgical option among therapeutic strategies for these highly malignant tumors.
PMCID: PMC3942612  PMID: 24678430
Endoscopic endonasal surgery; intracranial germinoma; pediatric brain tumor; skull base surgery

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