Background: Standard treatment of localized intracranial germinoma is focal irradiation of the primary tumor (45-50 grays [Gy]) combined with craniospinal radiotherapy (RT). To decrease late effects related to extensive fields of RT, the French Society of Pediatric Oncology decided in 1990 to replace prophylactic RT with chemotherapy (CT) and to deliver focal RT at 40 Gy.
Methods: Twenty-nine patients with localized, biopsy proven germinoma were included in this study between January 1990 and December 1994. CT consisted of 2 cycles of carboplatin 600 mg/m2 on Day 1, etoposide 150 mg/m2 on Days 1-3, ifosfamide 1.8 g/m2 on Days 22-26, and etoposide 150 mg2 on Days 22-24, followed by RT delivered to the initial tumor volume (40 Gy).
Results: The median age of the 19 boys and 10 girls was 12.8 years; 25 patients had a unifocal tumor in the pineal (13), suprasellar (10), or thalamic (2) area, and 4 patients had a bifocal tumor. Three patients initially had complete surgery. Of the 26 patients evaluable for CT response, 11 had a small amount of tumor residue and 15 no residue; no patient underwent surgery after CT or RT. One patient recurred 3 years after diagnosis and is in his second complete remission. Twenty-eight patients are in their first complete remission after a median follow-up of 32 months (range, 7-68 months); 9 of the 28 have a small amount of tumor residue that is considered nonevolving. Overall survival at 4 years is 100% and event free survival is 93.3% (+/- 6%) after a median follow-up of 32 months.
Conclusions: This treatment strategy avoids craniospinal RT and reduces focal RT, with results equivalent to those achieved with extensive RT. Thus, the authors consider it a valid treatment of nonmetastatic germinoma.