Alpha-fetoprotein surge following high-dose chemotherapy in germ cell tumours

Salvatore Luca Burgio, Cecilia Menna, Giorgio Papiani, Andrea Casadei Gardini, Nicoletta De Luigi, Roberto Corsi, Giovanni Rosti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In patients with non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCTs) who receive chemotherapy and have residual disease, a persistently elevated serum marker level after induction chemotherapy indicates active and progressive disease. High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) is the standard treatment for patients with relapsed NSGCT. We present a case of a patient with residual disease from NSGCT who showed an increase in serum alpha-fetoprotein levels after HDCT, mimicking progression. Resection of the mass did not show viable cells in the tumour specimen, thus suggesting that the elevated level of the marker was expression of hepatic reconstitution after drug-induced liver damage. HDCT is increasingly used in cases of relapsed NSGCT, and the possibility of treatment-induced alpha-fetoprotein elevation must be taken into account in patient management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-122
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Chemotherapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • Alpha-fetoprotein levels
  • Germ cell tumour
  • High-dose chemotherapy
  • Progressive disease
  • Residual mass

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology


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