Intermediate prognosis in metastatic germ cell tumours-outcome and prognostic factors

Christoph Seidel, Gedske Daugaard, Alexey Tryakin, Andrea Necchi, Gabriella Cohn Cedermark, Olof Ståhl, Marcus Hentrich, Margarida Brito, Costantine Albany, Fadi Taza, Arthur Gerl, Karin Oechsle, Carsten Bokemeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: For metastatic germ cell tumour patients with intermediate prognosis (IPGCT) according to the IGCCCG classification 5-year overall survival (OS) rates of 79% were described, but recent data suggest significant changes.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: To compare the outcome of current IPGCT with former patients and to find new prognosticators a retrospective observational study was performed. Eligibility criteria were: age ≥16 years, diagnosed between 1979 and 2014. Primary end-point was the 5-year OS rate.

RESULTS: This database includes 707 IPGCT: group 1 was diagnosed 1979-1996 (n = 237), and group 2 1997-2014 (n = 470). Median follow-up was 8.6 years (IQR: 14.4). Group 1 and 2 received first-line treatment with BEP (median 4 cycles; range 1-6) in 99% (group 1) and 95% (group 2), respectively. The proportion of first-line chemotherapy responders (CR and marker negative PR) was similar: 94% (group 1) and 96% (group 2), respectively (P = 0.290), but OS was superior in group 2 with a 5-year OS rate of 89% compared with 83% in group 1 (P = 0.035). In refractory disease, high-dose chemotherapy and treatment beyond second line was performed more often in group 2. A lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) cut-off value of 2 ULN (P = 0.002; HR 2.121) and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels of 6200 IU/ml (P = 0.032; HR 2.155) pre-chemotherapy were independent prognosticators for OS in a multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION: Outcome of IPGCT has improved and is now closer to the good prognosis category. LDH and AFP levels represent potential markers to stratify IPGCT before treatment initiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor/analysis
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal/mortality
  • Prognosis
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stem Cell Transplantation/methods
  • Young Adult


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