Long-term survival after high-dose salvage chemotherapy for germ cell malignancies with adverse prognostic variables

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Purpose: Independent prognostic variables for patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) as salvage modality for germ cell tumors (GCT) were previously described, and a score was created. Patients with more than 2 points had a poor prognosis. However, these data were from patients treated from 1984 to 1993, and most received a single HDCT course. In this study, we evaluated outcomes at Indiana University and determined the applicability of the Beyer score to contemporary poor-risk patients. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients who received salvage HDCT between 1988 and 2001 and had at least one of the following characteristics: platinum-refractory or absolutely platinum-refractory GCT, primary mediastinal nonseminomatous GCT (PMNSGCT), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) ≥ 1,000 mU/mL or alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) ≥ 1,000 ng/mL before HDCT. Primary end points were overall and 2-year failure-free survival (FFS). Results: Eighty patients were identified. Fifty-six were platinum refractory, 23 had a Beyer score greater than 2, and 13 had PMNSGCT. Fifty-six patients received two HDCT courses. HDCT included carboplatin and etoposide. Forty-three patients received HDCT as first salvage modality. Median overall survival was 14.7 months. The 2-year FFS was 32%. No relapses have occurred after 2 years from HDCT. Patients with greater than 2 points in the Beyer score, platinum-refractory patients, and patients with HCG ≥ 1,000 mU/mL, AFP ≥ 1,000 ng/mL, and PMNSGCT had 2-year FFS of 30%, 37%, 26%, 18%, and 0%, respectively. Conclusion: Results with PMNSGCT remained poor. However, other patients with poor prognosis should not be denied an attempt at curative salvage HDCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4100-4104
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term survival after high-dose salvage chemotherapy for germ cell malignancies with adverse prognostic variables'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this