Cisplatin, methotrexate and bleomycin for treating advanced penile carcinoma

BJU Int. 2006 Dec;98(6):1225-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2006.06496.x.


Objective: To retrospectively evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of chemotherapy with cisplatinum, methotrexate and bleomycin (CMB) in the adjuvant and palliative setting, and its effect on survival in patients with locally advanced or metastatic penile carcinoma, which carries a very poor prognosis.

Patients and methods: Thirteen patients (mean age 54 years) with radically resected local and nodal disease (eight), metastatic disease (two) or metastatic recurrence (three) had chemotherapy with CMB between February 1996 and July 2003. In all, 45 treatment courses were given, with a mean (range) of 3.5 (2-6) courses per patient.

Results: Three of the eight patients with adjuvant treatment showed no evidence of disease after a mean (range) of 54 (41-76) months, while four in this group died from disease progression after a mean of 11 (5-20) months, and one died from treatment-related toxicity. All five patients with metastatic disease died from disease progression after three had shown temporary signs of regression.

Conclusions: Chemotherapy with CMB had little effect on metastatic penile cancer and responses were transient. However, patients with minimal disease after radical local and lymphatic resection seemed to benefit from adjuvant therapy, but the toxicity was high and carried a risk of death.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Bleomycin / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Penile Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Penile Neoplasms / mortality
  • Penile Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Bleomycin
  • Cisplatin
  • Methotrexate