Multimodal treatment of malignant sacrococcygeal germ cell tumors: a prospective analysis of 66 patients of the German cooperative protocols MAKEI 83/86 and 89

J Clin Oncol. 2001 Apr 1;19(7):1943-50. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2001.19.7.1943.


Purpose: To evaluate a multimodal approach including surgery and cisplatinum chemotherapy for treatment of children with malignant sacrococcygeal germ cell tumors (GCT) and to compare adjuvant and neoadjuvant strategies in advanced tumors.

Patients and methods: Between 1983 and 1995, 71 patients with malignant sacrococcygeal GCT were prospectively enrolled onto the German protocols for nontesticular GCT Maligne Keimzelltumoren 83/86 and 89. Five patients who received no chemotherapy (n = 2) or nonplatinum chemotherapy (n = 2) or who did not undergo tumor resection (n = 1) were excluded from this analysis. Among the 66 patients analyzed were 14 boys and 52 girls. The median age was 17.4 months (range, 7 months to 119 months). Median follow-up was 79 months (range, 4 months to 145 months).

Results: Fifty-two patients presented with locally advanced stage T2 tumors, and 30 patients had distant metastases at diagnosis. Patients received a median of eight cycles (range, four to nine cycles) of cisplatinum-based chemotherapy. Thirty-five patients underwent tumor resection at diagnosis and received adjuvant cisplatinum-based chemotherapy (group A). Thirty-one patients received up-front chemotherapy followed by delayed tumor resection (group B). Group B included more metastatic tumors than group A (group B, 19 of 31 patients; group A, 11 of 35 patients, P =.01). Preoperative chemotherapy facilitated complete tumor resections (group B, 20 of 31 patients; group A, five of 35 patients, P <.001) and avoided second-look surgery. Metastases at diagnosis and completeness of the first attempt of tumor resection were significant prognostic predictors; however, metastases were not predictive for patients treated with up-front chemotherapy. At 5 years follow-up, event-free survival was 0.76 +/- 0.05 (50 of 66 patients), and overall survival was 0.81 +/- 0.05 (54 of 66 patients). Four patients died as a result of therapy-related complications, and eight patients died of their tumors. Patients with locally advanced and metastatic tumors (T2b M1) fared better with neoadjuvant treatment [overall survival: 0.83 +/- 0.09 (16 of 19 patients) versus 0.45 +/- 0.15 (five of 11 patients), P =.01].

Conclusion: Even locally advanced and metastatic sacrococcygeal GCT can be successfully treated with up-front cisplatinum-based chemotherapy followed by delayed but complete tumor resection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actuarial Analysis
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Germinoma / drug therapy
  • Germinoma / mortality
  • Germinoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / surgery
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / therapy*
  • Prognosis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk
  • Sacrococcygeal Region
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Teratoma / drug therapy
  • Teratoma / mortality
  • Teratoma / surgery


  • Cisplatin