The 5-year overall survival rate of patients with germ cell tumor (GCT) with poor prognosis, according to the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group (IGCCCG) classification, is 48% after standard-dose chemotherapy and surgery, if necessary. Two recent studies have showed that early high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with hematopoietic progenitor cell support (HPCS) may induce a 2-year overall survival rate of 78% in these patients. We report the long-term results of the experience at the Department of Oncology in Ravenna with early HDCT and HPCS in GCT patients with poor prognosis (IGCCCG criteria). Between 1987 and 2002, 18 poor prognosis GCT patients (17 M, one F), median age 24.5 years (range, 17-52), were treated with early HDCT with HPCS. In total, (67%) patients achieved a complete remission and they are continuously disease-free at a median follow-up of 9.2 years (range, 1.7-16.2). One treatment-related death occurred. No patient developed myelodysplasia or a secondary leukemia. This is notably the longest follow-up reported in patients having received HDCT in this setting. No patient achieving a complete remission relapsed. The role of HDCT in poor prognosis GCT will be defined from the ongoing phase III randomized trials.
- Hematopoietic progenitor cell support
- High-dose chemotherapy
- Poor prognosis germ cell tumor
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