What Is the Optimal High-Dose Treatment Following Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Relapsed or Refractory Germ Cell Cancer: A Retrospective Comparison of High-Dose ICE and High-Dose CE

J BUON. Mar-Apr 2020;25(2):1136-1140.


Purpose: Testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed solid organ malignancy in 15 to 35 year-old men with 1% incidence among all malignancies. Sixty percent of patients with mild and poor-risk factors need additional treatments. Starting in 1980s, high dose chemotherapy regimens (HDCT) that were not applicable before due to hematological toxicity have been brought into use, and survival and cure possibility have increased. To date, no randomized trial has been conducted to demonstrate superiority of high-dose chemotherapy protocols used for autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Our study aims to compare two commonly used HDCT regimens for a long period, with real-life data.

Methods: Approval for thiss retrospective study was obtained from the ethics committee of Gülhane Training and Research Hospital. Fifty refractory testicular cancer patients above 18 years were treated with HDCT and ASCT at Gülhane Training and Research Hospital (January 2011-July 2018).

Results: Fifty metastatic, refractory testicular carcinoma patients with a median age of 34 were included in the study. Ninety per cent of the cases had stage III disease at diagnosis. Except for 8 patients (16%) at mild risk group, all the other patients were at high risk. CE was used as salvage treatment for half of the patients and ICE was used for the other half. Four patients responded completely and 30 responded partially to ASCT. Post transplantation median progression-free survival (PFS) was 22 months. Median overall survival (OS) in the general population was 223.4 months (76.1-370.7). Although there was a difference in OS between chemotherapy groups, the difference was not statistically significant. The mean duration of engraftment in patients treated with CE was 11.2 ± 2.3 days, while in patients receiving ICE it was 15.5 ± 2.1 days. This difference between chemotherapy groups was statistically significant (p<0.001).