Background: The aim of this study is to determine feasibility and efficacy of the combination regimen gemcitabine, oxaliplatin, and paclitaxel (GOP) in patients with cisplatin-refractory or multiply relapsed germ-cell tumors.
Patients and methods: From April 2003 to October 2006, 41 patients refractory to cisplatin-based chemotherapy or with relapse after high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) plus stem-cell support (peripheral blood stem-cell transplantation: PBSCT) received 800 mg/m2 gemcitabine, 80 mg/m2 paclitaxel (Taxol), both on days 1 + 8, and oxaliplatin 130 mg/m2 on day 1 of a 3-week cycle for a minimum of two cycles. Primary end point was response rate. Patients were pretreated with a median of two lines of platin-based chemotherapy (range, 1-3), and 78% had relapsed after HDCT/PBSCT.
Results: Seventy-three percent of patients had relapsed within 3 months after the last cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Five percent of the patients achieved a complete response, and 34% and 12% a marker-negative and marker-positive partial response, respectively (overall response rate 51%). After a median follow-up of 5 months (range, 0-20), 15% of the patients remain in complete remission after GOP chemotherapy +/- residual tumor resection with a median response duration of 8 months (1 to 17+). Main toxicity was leucocytopenia grade 3/4 in 15%, anemia in 7%, and thrombocytopenia in 49% of the patients.
Conclusion: Combination chemotherapy with GOP is feasible and effective with acceptable toxicity in patients with treatment-refractory germ-cell tumors.