Brain metastases from non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCTs) are rare and mainly occur in young men whose clinical condition is unimpaired. The records of 15 patients with brain metastasis from non-seminomatous germ cell tumors of the testis, who had been surgically treated between 1984 and 1998, were retrospectively reviewed. All of the patients had undergone surgery plus whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT), and chemotherapy based on cisplatin. On admission they had a median age of 33 years and their mean Karnofsky performance scale (KPS) score was >70. Mean survival was 37.7 months. Eight patients had a survival period longer than 5 years. Five patients belonged to radiation therapy oncology group (RTOG) class I; all of them survived. There was a significant difference in survival time between patients in whom the brain metastasis was present at diagnosis (six survivors at 5 years; mean survival 53 months) and patients in whom the brain metastasis occurred during or after chemotherapy (two survivors at 5 years; mean survival 24 months) (P=0.04). The presence of a trophoblastic component at histopathological analysis of the metastasis negatively influenced survival at univariate analysis. Multiple brain metastasis proved to be a significant risk factor at both univariate and multivariate analysis, while a metastatic residue with a diameter less than 2 cm after surgery did not negatively affect survival in our series. Prognosis is worst in patients with multiple brain metastases, in whom brain involvement occurred during or after cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Considering that these metastases are often both radiosensitive and chemosensitive, and mainly affect young men that are in very good clinical condition, we advocate aggressive treatment with surgery plus adjuvant radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This is mandatory in patients with large metastases (diameter >3 cm).
- Brain metastases
- Non-seminomatous germ cell tumor
- Prognostic factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology