Nivolumab for the salvage treatment of desperate germ cell tumor: A case report.

Testicular germ cell tumors (GCT) are the most common tumor in young men. Their distinctive feature is the exceptional response to platin based combination chemotherapy.Since the prognosis is poor in relapsed and refractory patients, the immune checkpoint inhibitors are candidate agents in these patients although clinical trials are mostly lacking. Herein, we describe a patient with a refractory nonseminomatous GCT using nivolumab as a last resort therapy and provided long term response without any significant toxicity.

A 41-year-old male presented with the complaint of flank pain eleven years ago. The patient underwent a retroperitoneal lymph node excision and pathology reported as the mixed germ cell tumor. There were no mass in the testicles and the patient was diagnosed with a primary retroperitoneal GCT. Since the disease has progressed under multiple lines of chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation, treatment was started with nivolumab.

The patient started to treatment with nivolumab 3 mg/kg two weekly as a last resort treatment. The nivolumab was continued and the patient's response to this treatment is ongoing and has been stable for 13 months.

There are limited treatment options in platinum-refractory germ cell tumors. Recently, immune checkpoint inhibitors tried in this setting with some success in especially non-seminomatous GCTs. We see a good response and prolonged benefit with the use of nivolumab in our patient. Further research including prospective studies on the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in platinum-resistant testicular cancer can further delineate the role of immunotherapy.

Journal of oncology pharmacy practice : official publication of the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners. 2020 Dec 06 [Epub ahead of print]

M S Aksun, E Ucgul, T K Sahin, D C Guven, S Aksoy

Department of Internal Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey., Department of Medical Oncology, Hacettepe University Cancer Institute, Ankara, Turkey.

email news signup