Secreting Germ Cell Tumors of the Central Nervous System: A Long-Term Follow-up Experience.

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INTRODUCTION: Due to the rarity of nongerminomatous germ cell tumors (NGGCT) with non-standard treatment as yet, we report retrospectively our 30 year experience with chemotherapy followed by craniospinal irradiation (CSI), plus a boost of whole ventricular irradiation (WVI)/tumor bed (TB), tailored to pre-radiation chemotherapy response. METHODS: Between 1988 and 2016, 28 patients received four cycles of PEB (cisplatin/etoposide/bleomycin), then CSI, and two further PEB cycles. Between 1988 and1994, CSI was 25.5 Gy for patients in complete remission (CR), 30 Gy if in partial remission (PR) or metastatic, with a boost to TB up to 45-54 Gy. In the period of 1995-2010, the boost included WVI and any extra-ventricular tumor sites up to 45 Gy. After 2010, CSI was reduced to 25.5 Gy for all non-metastatic patients, and a boost was given only to TB up to 40.5/45.5 Gy, depending on patients' CR/PR status. After 2003, patients with alfafetoprotein (αFP) textgreater 1000 ng/mL received intensified treatment, also including autologous stem cell transplantation. RESULTS: Among 28 patients (23 males; median age 12 years, 6 metastatic), 25 responded to PEB, and three progressed (PD) after one to four cycles; 26 received radiotherapy obtaining 13 CR, 7 PR and 5 stable disease (SD), 1 PD; 6 (21 died (5 for disease, 1 for pneumonia while in CR). Five-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were both 81 10 year OS and PFS 816 respectively (median follow-up 11 years). CONCLUSIONS: Survival for children with NGGCT, independently from disease extent, was encouraging. Further studies should elucidate which patients could benefit from reduced volume and dose irradiation.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2020


  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • CNS germ cell tumors
  • craniospinal irradiation
  • late effects


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