Outcomes with chemotherapy in carcinoma penis: Experience from a tertiary cancer center

Indian J Cancer. 2023 Jul-Sep;60(3):396-402. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_266_20.


Background: Carcinoma penis is more common in India compared to the West. The role of chemotherapy in carcinoma penis is ambiguous. We analyzed the profile and outcomes of patients with carcinoma penis treated with chemotherapy.

Methods: We analyzed the details of all patients with carcinoma penis treated at our institute between 2012 and 2015. We collected particulars regarding demography, clinical presentation, treatment details, toxicities, and outcomes of these patients. Event-free and overall (OS) survival were calculated from the time of diagnosis until documentation of disease relapse/progression or death for the patients with advanced carcinoma penis who were eligible for chemotherapy.

Results: There were 171 patients with carcinoma penis treated at our institute during the study period including 54 (31.6%) patients with stage I, 49 (28.7%) patients with stage II, 24 (14.0%) patients with stage III, 25 (14.6%) patients with stage IV, and 19 (11.1%) patients with recurrent disease at presentation. The present study included 68 patients with advanced carcinoma penis (stages III and IV) who were eligible for chemotherapy, with a median age of 55 years (range: 27-79 years). Sixteen patients received paclitaxel and carboplatin (PC) and 26 patients cisplatin and 5-FluoroUracil (CF). Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) was given to four patients with stage III and nine patients with stage IV disease. Of the 13 patients given NACT, we observed a partial response in five (38.5%), stable disease in two (15.4%), and progressive disease in five (38.5%) evaluable patients. Six (46%) patients underwent surgery after NACT. Only 28/54 (52%) patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. After a median follow-up of 17.2 months, the 2-year OS rates were 95.8, 89, 62.7, 51.9, and 28.6% for stages I, II, III, IV, and recurrent disease, respectively. The 2-year OS of patients who were given chemotherapy versus those who were not given chemotherapy were 52.7 and 63.2%, respectively (P = 0.762).

Conclusions: We report the real-world outcomes of two chemotherapeutic regimens used in consecutive patients with advanced carcinoma penis. Both PC and CF seemed effective and safe. However, approximately half of patients with advanced carcinoma penis do not receive the planned/indicated chemotherapy. We need further prospective trials regarding the sequencing, protocols and indications of chemotherapy in this malignancy.

Keywords: Carcinoma penis; chemotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols* / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin
  • Carcinoma* / therapy
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant / methods
  • Cisplatin
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Paclitaxel
  • Penis


  • Cisplatin
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel