Purpose of review Despite the high cure rate of germ-cell tumors (GCTs), the 5-year survival rate for those patients with metastatic poor-risk GCT rarely exceeds 50%. The purpose of this review is to highlight past and recent discoveries in the treatment of patients with poor-risk GCT. Recent findings Multiple clinical trials to optimize the management of poor-risk germ-cell cancer are ongoing. First-line phase II clinical trials of dose-dense multidrug and paclitaxel-based regimens such as accelerated bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP), dose-dense chemotherapy and paclitaxel, ifosfamide, and cisplatin (TIP) reported promising results. Positive phase III data are still lacking. Summary Four cycles of BEP or Etoposide (VP16), ifosfamide, cisplatin (VIP) continue to be the standard of care in patients with poor-risk GCT. A significant disparity in patient outcome exists between high-volume and low-volume centers. Referral for centers of excellence should be considered in the management of poor-risk GCT.
- Germ-cell tumor
- International Germ Cell Consensus Classification Group
- Primary mediastinal nonseminoma
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