Relapse-free and overall survival in patients with pathologic stage II nonseminomatous germ cell cancer treated with etoposide and cisplatin adjuvant chemotherapy

J Clin Oncol. 2004 Feb 1;22(3):464-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2004.07.178.


Purpose: To assess the long-term relapse-free survival and overall survival of patients with stage II nonseminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT) who received two cycles of adjuvant etoposide and cisplatin (EP) after primary retroperitoneal lymph node dissection.

Patients and methods: Eighty-seven patients with completely resected pathologic stage II NSGCT were treated with adjuvant EP chemotherapy. Adjuvant EP consisted of two cycles of etoposide (100 mg/m(2)) plus cisplatin (20 mg/m(2)) per day, administered days 1 to 5 at a 21-day interval.

Results: Ten patients (11%) had pN1 disease, 73 (84%) had pN2 disease, and four (5%) had pN3 disease. Eighty-six patients received two cycles of EP, and one patient received an additional two cycles of EP after a transient marker increase after his first cycle. Eighty-seven patients are alive, and 86 patients (99%) remain relapse-free at a median follow-up of 8 years (range, 0.9 to 13.5 years).

Conclusion: Two cycles of adjuvant EP is highly effective in preventing relapse in patients with pathologic stage II pN1 and pN2 NSGCT. An alternative treatment strategy is surveillance with full-course chemotherapy at relapse. Because there is a higher risk of relapse for patients with pN2 disease, these patients are offered adjuvant chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cisplatin / therapeutic use*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Etoposide / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Germinoma / drug therapy
  • Germinoma / mortality*
  • Germinoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Testicular Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Testicular Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology


  • Etoposide
  • Cisplatin

Supplementary concepts

  • VP-P protocol