Taxanes in Combination with Cisplatin and Fluorouracil for Advanced Penile Cancer: Preliminary Results

Giorgio Pizzocaro, Nicola Nicolai, Angelo Milani

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Background: Chemotherapy is emerging in the management of advanced penile cancer. Objective: To evaluate the therapeutic activity of taxanes (T) in combination with cisplatin-fluorouracil (PF) for salvage of primarily unresectable or relapsed nodal metastases from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the penis. Design, setting, and participants: Six consecutive patients were treated at Istituto Nazionale Tumori (INT), Milano, with neoadjuvant paclitaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil (TPF) for unresectable (two cases) or recurrent nodal metastases (four cases) from SCC of the penis from 2004 to 2006. Informed consent was given by all patients. Intervention: Four courses of neoadjuvant TPF were to be given before salvage surgery. Measurements: Patients underwent computed tomography (CT) scans before starting chemotherapy, after two courses, and at the end of chemotherapy. Lymph node dissection was to be performed in responsive patients. Results and limitations: Two patients received more than four courses: Both had pathologically documented complete remission, and they are alive and disease free >2 yr after chemotherapy. The other four patients received only two courses. The first patient had subjective intolerance to TPF: He underwent early postchemotherapy radical lymph node dissection, which documented >90% tumour necrosis: He is alive and disease free 46 mo after starting chemotherapy. Of the other three patients, one was not responsive, changed therapy, and died within 4 mo. The other two had a clinical complete remission after the first two courses. Both refused to complete chemotherapy, and they relapsed after 10 and 4 mo. Limitations are the small number of patients and protocol violation in three cases. Conclusions: TPF chemotherapy for unresectable or recurrent nodal metastases from SCC of the penis is promising, and the standard four courses of therapy are to be completed in responding patients. A larger series is necessary to confirm preliminary results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-551
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Advanced disease
  • Penile cancer
  • Taxanes and cisplatin-fluorouracil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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