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1.  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
2.  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
3.  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
4.  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
5.  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
6.  Extragonadal mixed germ cell tumor of the right arm: description of the first case in the literature 
Extragonadal localization of germ cell tumors (GCTs) is rare; to the best of our knowledge, a location in the soft tissue of the arm has never been previously reported in the literature.
Case presentation
We report the case of a 37-year-old man who presented with a primary malignant mixed non-seminomatous GCT (teratocarcinoma variety) in the right arm, treated by a combination of cisplatin-based chemotherapy and surgery. After 18 months of close follow-up, no locoregional recurrence or distant metastases have been detected.
A combination of chemotherapy and surgery is the most appropriate treatment strategy for extragonadal GCTs, to ensure both local and systemic control.
PMCID: PMC3356599  PMID: 22540884
Chemotherapy; Embryonic carcinoma; Extragonadal; Mixed germ cell tumors; Surgery; Teratoma
7.  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
8.  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
9.  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
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.  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
12.  Malignant giant-cell tumours of bone  
International Orthopaedics  1998;22(1):19-26.
Twenty-nine patients with malignant giant-cell tumours of bone (GCT) were followed- up for between 6 months and 18 years. Seventeen of the tumours were primary and 12 were due to malignant degeneration of initially benign lesions. The clinical features did not differ from those of benign GCT, except for a higher incidence in the distal tibia and sacrum. Anaplastic GCTs were included in the study because their clinical and radiographic features and prognosis were no different from those of the GCT grade III of Jaffe. Eighteen of the tumours were grade III, and 11 were anaplastic. This retrospective study was intended to assess the effects of chemotherapy and surgery for malignant GCT. Three treatment groups were selected, in which treatment was either by surgery alone, surgery plus chemotherapy, or radiotherapy alone. – The prognosis was poor and the 5 year tumour-free survival rate in the series was 50%. The prognosis was the same for primary as for secondarily malignant tumours. There was no statistical difference in survival between malignant grade III and anaplastic malignant tumours. The one-year survival rate for patients treated by chemotherapy and surgery was statistically higher (chi 2 test) than for persons treated by surgery alone. However, the five-year survival rate and the actuarial survival curves were not statistically different in the two groups (log rank test). – Chemotherapy appears to be of some value in the treatment of these malignant tumours but a larger series is required to confirm the efficacy of this approach.
PMCID: PMC3619644  PMID: 9549577
13.  The role of high-dose chemotherapy in the treatment of testicular cancer 
Testicular cancer is a highly curable neoplasm, even in the case of extragonadal disease. Nevertheless, patients with adverse prognostic features or relapsing after first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy have a worse prognosis with a death rate greater than 50%. High-dose chemotherapy (HDC) has long been used in this group of patients. The introduction of stem cells, instead of bone marrow, as the source of hemopoietic cells and the use of leukocyte growth factors have substantially reduced the mortality and morbidity of this procedure although the role of HDC is not well defined. This review summarizes the available data, focusing on published randomized studies. The problems associated with the design of these studies and the interpretation of data are discussed. Currently this HDC approach is mainly used in patients who relapse after first-line chemotherapy. Nevertheless, selection of patients likely to benefit from this treatment remains an issue of intense clinical research.
PMCID: PMC3818874  PMID: 24198610
high-dose chemotherapy; testicular cancer; salvage therapy
14.  Gonadal and extragonadal germ cell tumors in the United States, 1973–2007 
Germ cell tumors (GCTs) most often arise in the gonads but some develop extragonadally. The aim of this study was to examine sex- and race-specific trends in incidence and survival of gonadal (GGCTs) and extragonadal GCTs (EGCTs) in the US from 1973 to 2007. We also examined the topographic distribution of EGCTs by race and sex.
We estimated age-specific and age-standardized incidence rates and 5-year relative survival rates (RSR) of GCTs using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (SEER 9 registries). GCTs and their topographic sites were identified using ICD-O morphology and topography codes.
Of 21,170 GCTs among males, 5.7% were extragonadal (whites 5.5%; blacks 16.3%). Of 2,093 GCTs among females, 39.3% were extragonadal (whites, 36.9%; blacks 51.0%). The incidence of GGCT was much higher among white (56.3/1,000,000) than black males (10.0/1,000,000) while there was no difference in incidence between white and black females (3.2/1,000,000). The rates of EGCT among men and women of both races were similar (range:1.9 – 3.4/1,000,000). The most frequent extragonadal sites were mediastinum among males and placenta among females. The 5-year RSR of testicular GCT was higher among whites (97%) than blacks (90%), as was the 5-year RSR of ovarian GCT (whites, 92%; blacks 85%). In general, the 5-year RSRs of EGCTs were lower than the 5-year RSRs of GGCTs.
The different incidence trends of GGCTs and EGCTs and distinct age-specific incidence patterns by anatomic site of EGCTs suggests that GGCTs and EGCTs may have different etiologies.
PMCID: PMC3631107  PMID: 22320869
testicular neoplasms; ovarian neoplasms; incidence; time trends; germ cell tumors; extragonadal germ cell tumors
15.  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
16.  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
17.  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
18.  Differential responsiveness to immunoablative therapy in refractory rheumatoid arthritis is associated with level and avidity of anti-cyclic citrullinated protein autoantibodies: a case study 
In order to identify pathogenic correlates of refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA), antibodies against anti-cyclic citrullinated protein (ACPAs) were investigated in RA patients in whom the dysregulated immune system had been ablated by high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) and autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Six patients with refractory RA were extensively characterized in terms of levels of total immunoglobulins, RA-specific autoantibodies (ACPAs and rheumatoid factor) and antibodies against rubella, tetanus toxoid (TT) and phosphorylcholine before and after HDC plus HSCT. Additionally, the avidity of ACPAs was measured before and after treatment and compared with the avidity of TT antibodies following repeated immunizations. Synovial biopsies were obtained by arthroscopy before HDC plus HSCT, and analyzed by immunohistochemistry. In the three patients with clinically long-lasting responses to HDC plus HSCT (median 423 days), significant reductions in ACPA-IgG levels after therapy were observed (median level dropped from 215 to 34 arbitrary units/ml; P = 0.05). In contrast, stable ACPA-IgG levels were observed in three patients who relapsed shortly after HDC plus HSCT (median of 67 days). Clinical responders had ACPA-IgG of lower avidity (r = 0.75; P = 0.08) and higher degree of inflammation histologically (r = 0.73; P = 0.09). Relapse (after 38 to 530 days) in all patients was preceded by rising levels of low avidity ACPA-IgG (after 30 to 388 days), in contrast to the stable titres of high avidity TT antibodies. In conclusion, humoral autoimmune responses were differentially modulated by immunoablative therapy in patients with synovial inflammation and low avidity ACPA-IgG autoantibodies as compared with patients with high levels of high avidity ACPA-IgG. The distinct clinical disease course after immunoablative therapy based on levels and avidity of ACPA-IgG indicates that refractory RA is not a single disease entity.
PMCID: PMC2212565  PMID: 17927821
19.  Sequential detection of alphafetoprotein-bearing cells in blood stem cell fraction of germ cell tumour patients 
British Journal of Cancer  2001;85(8):1119-1123.
High-dose chemotherapy with peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) transplantation in advanced germ cell tumour (GCT) patients is widely applied. The aims of this study were: (1) To examine the presence of alphafetoprotein (AFP) bearing tumour cells in PBSC harvests from advanced GCT patients obtained after multiple cycles of induction chemotherapy. (2) To determine whether induction chemotherapy contributed to in vivo purging of the tumour. We evaluated cryopreserved PBSC samples from 5 patients with advanced stage II/III AFP producing GCT. PBSC were separated after the first, second and third cycles of induction chemotherapy. Those samples were analysed using the nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method to detect AFP mRNA. Although, in all patients, AFP mRNA was detected in PBSC samples after the first or second cycle of induction chemotherapy, but was not detected in 3 of 4 samples after the third cycle of chemotherapy. Although it is not clear whether tumour cells contaminating PBSC fraction contribute to disease relapse, PBSC harvested after at least 3 cycles of induction chemotherapy might be recommended to avoid such a possibility. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign
PMCID: PMC2375162  PMID: 11710823
germ cell tumour; alphafetoprotein; peripheral blood stem cells; reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
20.  Primary malignant mediastinal germ cell tumours: improved prognosis with platinum-based chemotherapy and surgery. 
British Journal of Cancer  1993;67(5):1098-1101.
A retrospective analysis was performed of 18 patients with primary malignant germ cell tumours of the mediastinum treated with platinum-based chemotherapy between 1977 and 1990. All seven patients with pure seminoma were treated initially with chemotherapy and four of these patients received additional mediastinal radiotherapy. Only one patient relapsed; his initial therapy had included radiotherapy and single-agent carboplatin and he was successfully salvaged with combination chemotherapy. With a follow-up of 11 to 117 months (median 41 months) all seven patients with seminoma remain alive and disease free giving an overall survival of 100%. Eleven patients had malignant non seminoma; following chemotherapy eight of these had elective surgical resection of residual mediastinal masses. Complete remission was achieved in nine (82%) patients, however, one of these patients died from bleomycin pneumonitis. With a follow-up of 12 to 113 months (median 55 months) eight of 11 (73%) patients with malignant mediastinal teratoma remain alive and disease free.
PMCID: PMC1968447  PMID: 8494705
21.  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
22.  Identification of a Heritable Model of Testicular Germ Cell Tumor in the Zebrafish 
Zebrafish  2009;6(4):319-327.
Germ cell tumors (GCTs) affect infants, children, and adults and are the most common cancer type in young men. Progress in understanding the molecular basis of GCTs has been hampered by a lack of suitable animal models. Here we report the identification of a zebrafish model of highly penetrant, heritable testicular GCT isolated as part of a forward genetic screen for cancer susceptibility genes. The mutant line develops spontaneous testicular tumors at a median age of 7 months, and pedigree analysis indicates dominant inheritance of the GCT susceptibility trait. The zebrafish model exhibits disruption of testicular tissue architecture and the accumulation of primitive, spermatogonial-like cells with loss of spermatocytic differentiation. Radiation treatment leads to apoptosis of the tumor cells and tumor regression. The GCT-susceptible line can serve as a model for understanding the mechanisms regulating germ cells in normal development and disease and as a platform investigating new therapeutic approaches for GCTs.
PMCID: PMC2811880  PMID: 20047465
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.  Vaginal tumors in childhood: the experience of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital 
Journal of pediatric surgery  2011;46(11):2071-2075.
To retrospectively analyze the clinical presentation, histology, treatment and outcomes of children with vaginal tumors who were treated at a single institution.
A retrospective review was conducted of medical records and pathologic materials of all children with vaginal tumors treated at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital between 1970 and 2009.
Eighteen patients (median age 3.7 years, range 0.1–15) were identified. Three different histologies were found: rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) (N=13), germ cell tumor (GCT) (N=3) and clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCA) (N=2). Bleeding or blood-tinged discharge was the most common clinical presentation (66%) followed by a protruding mass (39%). Vaginal and uterine salvage was 44.4% (8 of 18 patients). Thirteen patients (72.2%) remain disease-free with a median follow-up of 23.2 years (range, 2–39). Four patients (22.2%) died of disease progression (1 RMS, 2 GCT and 1 CCA) and 1 RMS patient died of colon cancer 12 years after the primary diagnosis had been made.
Vaginal tumors are extremely rare in the pediatric population. Early recognition of symptoms like bleeding and a protuding vaginal mass may prevent morbidity and mortality. Our findings confirm the good prognosis of vaginal RMS.
PMCID: PMC3476720  PMID: 22075335
vaginal tumors; rhabdomyosarcoma; germ cell tumor; adenocarcinoma
25.  Leptomeningeal Metastases in a Patient with an Extragonadal Germ Cell Tumor 
Clinical Medicine. Oncology  2008;2:371-374.
We present a case of leptomeningeal metastases in a 30-year-old man with an extragonadal germ cell tumor. The patient was referred to our hospital for treatment of an occipital brain metastasis. This lesion was resected, followed by whole brain radiotherapy and further chemotherapy, and a temporary complete remission was achieved. However, leptomeningeal recurrence developed, and despite salvage chemotherapy, the patient died of disease. Although multidisciplinary treatment is given to treat brain metastases of germ cell tumors, the patients’ prognosis has been unsatisfactory. The identification of a standard/effective treatment is required.
PMCID: PMC3161680  PMID: 21892301
leptomeningeal metastasis; brain metastasis; germ cell tumor; surgery; chemotherapy

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