Salvage chemotherapy for recurrent germ cell cancer

C. R. Nichols, B. J. Roth, P. J. Loehrer, S. D. Williams, L. H. Einhorn

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39 Scopus citations


Clinical trials of chemotherapy in germ cell cancer have explored the full range of the relationship of chemotherapy dose and intensity. In good-risk patients, successful efforts have diminished the duration of treatment or number of drugs required to reliably cure the illness. In patients with a poor prognosis, efforts to intensify therapy have been undertaken. In the setting of disease recurrence after primary chemotherapy, the outlook is considerably less hopeful, as only 20% to 30% of patients survive recurrent illness. Current standard treatment in this setting is combination therapy with ifosfamide and cisplatin, given with either etoposide or vinblastine. High-dose chemotherapy with bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell support can cure a small portion of selected patients with multiple recurrences of germ cell cancer. The impact of earlier treatment with high-dose chemotherapy (either as initial salvage therapy or primary treatment) is less certain. Clinical trials in these settings have not yet demonstrated a definite advantage over less toxic conventional-dose therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Issue number5 SUPPL. 12
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


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