Background: Germ cell tumor patients with intermediate prognosis (IPGCT) according to the International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group (IGCCCG) classification represent a heterogeneous group with different clinical features. This analysis was performed to investigate the prognostic impact of different tumor marker levels prior to first line chemotherapy within IPGCT.
Methods: For this study an international registry for IPGCT was established. Eligibility criteria were intermediate prognosis according to IGCCCG criteria, nonseminomatous histology, male sex, and age ≥ 16 years. Uni- and multivariate analysis were conducted to identify characteristics associated with survival outcomes. Receiver-Operating-Characteristic curve analysis was applied to find cut-off parameters. Five-year overall survival (OS) rate was the primary and 5-year progression-free survival rate the secondary endpoint.
Results: This database included 634 IPGCT with a median follow-up of 9.0 years (interquartile range: 14.35). Patients received first line treatment with platinum based chemotherapy, associated with a 5-year OS rate of 87%. The stratification of patients according to AFP levels revealed a correlation between AFP levels and outcome, associated with 5-year OS rates of 88% for AFP levels <1,000 IU/ml (n = 303), 89% for 1,000 to 2,000 IU/ml (n = 82), 87% for >2,000 to 6,000 IU/ml (n = 121), and 82% for >6,000 IU/ml (n = 57) prior first course of chemotherapy, respectively (P= 0.013). LDH levels prior fist course of chemotherapy also correlated with outcome associated with 5-year OS rates of 92% for <2 UNL (n = 271), 89% for ≥2 to 3 UNL (n = 85), 78% for >3 to 4 UNL (n = 34), and 77% for >4 UNL (n = 79), respectively (P= 0.03). Different HCG levels prior chemotherapy were not associated with outcome. In multivariable analysis AFP levels >6,000 IU/ml (P= 0.023; hazard ratio HR 2.263) or >1,982 IU/ml (P= 0.031; HR 1.722), and LDH levels >3 UNL (P< 0.001; HR 2.616) were independent prognosticators for OS.
Conclusions: Prognostication according to LDH and AFP levels prior chemotherapy could offer a new approach to stratify patients within the intermediate prognosis cohort. According to our findings, patients with AFP values above 6,000 IU/ml or/and LDH > 3 UNL represent an independent high risk cohort. Our results need to be confirmed in the upcoming IGCCCG reclassification.
Keywords: AFP and LDH levels; IGCCCG classification; Intermediate prognosis; Risk factor stratification.
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