Tandem high dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow transplantation for initial relapse of testicular germ cell cancer

E. Randolph Broun, Craig R. Nichols, Gary Gize, Kenneth Cornetta, Robert A. Hromas, Brenda Schacht, Lawrence H. Einhorn

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91 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of two cycles of high dose chemotherapy with autologous bone marrow transplantation (ABMT) in the treatment of patients having a first relapse of testicular germ cell cancer. METHODS. Twenty-five patients whose disease had relapsed after 1 platinum-based regimen received 1-2 cycles of conventional dose salvage therapy, followed by a planned 2 consecutive cycles of carboplatin 2100 mg/m2 and etoposide 2250 mg/m2 with ABMT. Patients were required to have testicular germ cell cancer, adequate organ function, and performance status. The median patient age was 32 years; 3 cisplatin refractory. RESULTS. Conventional dose salvage therapy consisted of vinblastine, ifosfamide, and cisplatin (for 16 patients); etoposide, cisplatin, and ifosfamide (for 3 patients); cisplatin, vinblastine, and bleomycin (for 2 patients); or none (for 4 patients). Twenty-five patients received high dose therapy; of these, 19 (76%) received two cycles. The median time to an absolute neutrophil count of 500 was 12 days (range, 8-20 days) for the first cycle and 11 days (range, 8-18 days) for the second. The median time to a platelet count of 20,000/μL, independent of transfusions, was 15 days (range, 8-60 days) for the first cycle and 14 days (range, 8-22 days) for the second. Extramyeloid toxicities were as follows: Grade 3-4 stomatitis in 17 of 25 patients, Grade 3-4 nausea/emesis in 12 of 25 patients, and Grade 3 ototoxicity in 3 of 25 patients. At the completion of therapy, nine patients were in complete remission, six had only teratoma found at resection, one had carcinoma resected, six were in partial remission, two had stable disease, and one had progressive disease. With a median follow-up period of 26 months (range, 14- 36 months), 13 of 25 patients (52%) had been continuously progression free at last follow-up, 11 of 25 (44%) progressed, and 1 patient died in treatment. CONCLUSIONS. Salvage treatment incorporating brief conventional dose therapy followed by two cycles of high dose therapy resulted in prolonged disease free survival in a proportion of patients with relapsed testicular germ cell cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1605-1610
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • autologous bone marrow transplantation
  • high dose chemotherapy
  • relapse
  • salvage treatment
  • testicular germ cell cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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