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Treatment of brain metastases in patients with testicular cancer

Item Type:Article
Title:Treatment of brain metastases in patients with testicular cancer
Creators Name:Bokemeyer, C. and Nowak, P. and Haupt, A. and Metzner, B. and Koehne, H. and Hartmann, J.T. and Kanz, L. and Schmoll, H.J.
Abstract:PURPOSE: Despite improved cure rates for patients with metastatic testicular cancer with cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy, patients who develop brain metastases are generally considered to possess a poor prognosis. This report summarizes the long-term results in 44 patients with brain metastases from testicular cancer treated between 1978 and 1995 at Hannover University Medical School. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Histologically, 42 patients (95%) had a nonseminomatous germ cell cancer and two patients (5%) a seminoma. Thirty-nine patients (89%) had lung metastases and 37 (84%) fulfilled the criteria for advanced disease according to the Indiana University classification even without considering the brain metastases. Eighteen patients (41%) presented with brain metastases at primary diagnosis (group 1), four (9%) developed brain metastases at relapse after a previous favorable response to combination chemotherapy (group 2), and 22 (50%) developed brain metastases during or directly after cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Chemotherapy consisted of cisplatin-based combination treatment and radiotherapy was given as whole-brain irradiation of 30 to 40 Gy and in single cases combined with a boost of 10 Gy to single lesions. RESULTS: Overall, 10 patients achieved long-term survival (23%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 10.1% to 35.4%). The prognosis was significantly better for patients in groups 1 and 2, with six of 18 (33%) and three of four (75%) patients alive, compared with only one of 22 (5%) in group 3 (P < .01). Patients treated with either chemotherapy or radiotherapy alone did not achieve long-term survival, while nine of 28 (32%) who received treatment with both modalities with or without surgery achieved sustained long-term survival. During univariate analysis, patients with the diagnosis of brain metastases at first presentation (P < .01), patients with a single brain lesion (P < .02), and patients who received combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy (P < .03) had a significantly improved outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term survival can be achieved in approximately 25% of patients with brain metastases from testicular cancer by combined treatment with brain irradiation and aggressive cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Patients who develop brain metastases during systemic treatment should receive only palliative radiation therapy, since sustained survival will not be reached.
Keywords:Adjuvant Chemotherapy, Adjuvant Radiotherapy, Analysis of Variance, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Brain Neoplasms, Cisplatin, Germ Cell and Embryonal Neoplasms, Prognosis, Radiotherapy Dosage, Seminoma, Survival Analysis, Testicular Neoplasms, Treatment Outcome
Source:Journal of Clinical Oncology
ISSN:0732-183X
Publisher:American Society of Clinical Oncology (U.S.A.)
Volume:15
Number:4
Page Range:1449-1454
Date:April 1997
Official Publication:http://jco.ascopubs.org/cgi/content/abstract/15/4/1449
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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