Long-term results of a combination of paclitaxel, cisplatin and gemcitabine for salvage therapy in male germ-cell tumours

Nicola Nicolai, Andrea Necchi, Luca Gianni, Luigi Piva, Davide Biasoni, Tullio Torelli, Silvia Stagni, Angelo Milani, Giorgio Pizzocaro, Roberto Salvioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE To retrospectively review the long-term activity, efficacy and toxicity of the combination of paclitaxel, cisplatin and gemcitabine (TPG) as third- or further-line chemotherapy in patients with germ-cell tumours (GCTs) who are not cured after at least two courses of standard-dose chemotherapy, high-dose chemotherapy or both. PATIENTS AND METHODS We evaluated 22 consecutive men treated between April 1999 and December 2000. Half of them were classified as absolutely refractory to cisplatin and a further two as refractory. The median (range) number of previous courses of chemotherapy was 8 (5-11). Treatment consisted of paclitaxel 80 mg/m2, cisplatin 50 mg/m 2 and gemcitabine 800 mg/m2 on days 1 and 8, every 3 weeks for four courses, followed by surgery of actual residual resectable masses. RESULTS The follow-up was updated at August 2007. There were no deaths from toxicity and only one patient needed suspension of therapy for toxicity. There was both grade 3-4 thrombocytopenia and neutropenia in 15 patients (68%), and anaemia in nine (41%). There were partial remissions in eight (36%) patients. Six (27%) patients were rendered disease-free with surgical removal of a residual mass after chemotherapy (two still containing viable cancer). Four (18%) patients are long-term survivors at more than 80, 81, 94 and 99 months. The median (range) overall survival of the whole series was 13.5 (1->99) months. CONCLUSION This combination had a toxicity profile that was acceptable and comparable with other third-line regimens. There were eight (36%) major responses. After a 6-year minimum follow-up, four (18%) patients were long-term disease-free survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-346
Number of pages7
JournalBJU International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Chemotherapy
  • Embryonal
  • Germ cell
  • Neoplasms
  • Salvage therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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