High-dose chemotherapy as salvage treatment in germ cell tumors: A multivariate analysis of prognostic variables

J. Beyer, A. Kramar, R. Mandanas, W. Linkesch, A. Greinix, J. P. Droz, J. L. Pico, A. Diehl, C. Bokemeyer, H. J. Schmoll, C. R. Nichols, L. H. Einhorn, W. Siegert

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279 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify prognostic variables for response and survival in male patients with relapsed or refractory germ cell tumors treated with high- dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and hematopoietic progenitor cell support. Patients and Methods: Three hundred ten patients treated with HDCT at four centers in the United States and Europe were retrospectively evaluated. Univariate and multivariate analysis of patient, disease, and treatment characteristics were used for comparisons of response rates and failure-free survival (FFS). Results: The actuarial FFS rate was 32% at 1, 30% at 2, and 29% at 3 years. Multivariate analysis identified progressive disease before HDCT, mediastinal nonseminomatous primary tumor, refractory or absolute refractory disease to conventional-dose cisplatin, and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) levels greater than 1,000 U/L before HDCT as independent adverse prognostic variables for FFS after HDCT. These variables were used to identify patients with good, intermediate, and poor prognoses. In the good-risk category, the predicted FFS rate at 2 years was 51%, compared with 27% and 5% in the intermediate-risk and poor-risk categories (P < .001). The increased risk for treatment failure was due to both a significantly lower rate of favorable responses and a significantly higher rate of relapses. Within the prognostic categories, the particular HDCT regimen or higher dosages of carboplatin or etoposide did not have a significant influence on treatment outcome. Conclusion: Prognostic variables for treatment response after HDCT can be identified. The proposed prognostic model might help to optimize the use of HDCT in germ cell tumors and warrants validation in future trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2638-2645
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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