Second-line therapy in testicular germ cell tumours: results from a tertiary cancer care centre in India

13 Jun 2022
Amit Joshi, Devanshi Kalra, Vijai Simha, Nandini Menon, Vanita Noronha, Ganesh Bakshi, Gagan Prakash, Mahendra Pal, Vedang Murthy, Santosh Menon, Nilesh Sable, Archi Agrawal, Pallavi Rane, Kumar Prabhash

Background: Malignant testicular neoplasms constitute about 1% of all cancers in males. This is one of the most common tumours in adolescents and young adult males. After the introduction of cisplatin-based chemotherapy, the survival of germ cell tumour patients, even those with poor prognostic risk factors, has significantly improved over the years. Second-line chemotherapy in patients who have progressed over the first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy has shown convincing 5 years of overall survival (OS).

Methodology: This study is a retrospective analysis of testicular cancer patients from 2014 to 2020 who have received salvage chemotherapy treatment at Tata Memorial Centre. Patient demographics, tumour characteristics and treatment details were recorded in a specific format, and progression-free survival and OS were analysed along with response to therapy.

Results: A total of 46 testicular cancer patients from 2014 to 2020, who received second-line chemotherapy, were analysed from the database maintained at our hospital. The median age at diagnosis was 29.5 (18–60) years. Most of the patients (30, 65.2%) presented with lung metastasis and 11 (23.9%) patients with liver metastasis. Most of the patients (21, 45.6%) received vinblastine, ifosfamide and cisplatin, whereas 13 (28.2%) patients received paclitaxel, ifosfamide and cisplatin regimen and 7 (15.2%) patients received GemOx regimen as the second-line chemotherapy. Median OS was observed to be 33.97 months and median progression-free survival was 29.01 months.

Conclusion: Second-line chemotherapy in testicular germ cell tumours can result in long-term disease control and all patients who are fit to tolerate second-line therapy should be offered it. Patients with relapsed seminoma did better than relapsed non-seminomatous germ cell tumours.

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