High-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell support in patients with metastatic non-seminomatous testicular cancer - a report from the Swedish Norwegian Testicular Cancer Group (SWENOTECA) - Abstract

BACKGROUND: The SWENOTECA IV protocol from 1995 is a prospective population-based study in metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell testicular cancer (NSGCT), designed for early identification of patients with poor response to standard cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

A slow tumor marker decline (HCG T½ > 3 days, AFP T½> 7 days) after BEP or BEP plus ifosfamide was regarded as poor response. The aim of this study was to present survival and toxicity data for patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) within the SWENOTECA IV cancer care program.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In total 882 adult men diagnosed with metastatic NSGCT between July 1995 and June 2007 in Sweden and Norway (except one center) were included in SWENOTECA IV and treated accordingly. Among these, 55 men (6.2%) were treated with HDCT according to three different indications in the protocol: A) poor response to standard-dose intensified chemotherapy (BEP plus ifosfamide); B) vital cancer at surgery after intensified chemotherapy; and C) selected relapses after previous chemotherapy. In situation A and C two HDCT cycles and in situation B one HDCT cycle was recommended. Situation A was the reason for HDCT in 36 patients, B in seven and C in 12 patients. The first HDCT cycle consisted of carboplatin 28 × (GFR + 25) mg, cyclofosfamide 6000 mg/m2 and etoposide 1750 mg/m2, administered over four days. In cycle two, etoposide was replaced by tiotepa 480 mg/m2.

RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 7.5 years, overall survival was 72%, 100% and 58%, while failure-free survival was 64%, 71% and 42% in situation A, B and C, respectively. Three patients (5.5%) died during HDCT (renal failure or intracerebral hemorrhage). Nephrotoxicity was the most common non-hematological grade 4 toxicity (n = 5, 9%).

CONCLUSION: The population-based SWENOTECA strategy, selecting patients who do not respond adequately to primary standard-dose chemotherapy for immediate treatment intensification with HDCT, is feasible and might be advantageous.

Written by:
Haugnes HS, Laurell A, Stierner U, Bremnes RM, Dahl O, Cavallin-Ståhl E, Cohn-Cedermark G. Are you the author?
Department of Oncology, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway.

Reference: Acta Oncol. 2012 Feb;51(2):168-76.
doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2011.641507

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 22175254

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