The role of high-dose chemotherapy in the treatment of testicular cancer
Alexandra Karadimou, Meletios A Dimopoulos, Aristotle Bamias Dept of Clinical Therapeutics, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
Abstract: Testicular cancer is a highly curable neoplasm, even in the case of extragonadal disease. Nevertheless, patients with adverse prognostic features or relapsing after first-line cisplatin-based chemotherapy have a worse prognosis with a death rate greater than 50%. Highdose chemotherapy (HDC) has long been used in this group of patients. The introduction of stem cells, instead of bone marrow, as the source of hemopoietic cells and the use of leukocyte growth factors have substantially reduced the mortality and morbidity of this procedure although the role of HDC is not well defined. This review summarizes the available data, focusing on published randomized studies. The problems associated with the design of these studies and the interpretation of data are discussed. Currently this HDC approach is mainly used in patients who relapse after first-line chemotherapy. Nevertheless, selection of patients likely to benefit from this treatment remains an issue of intense clinical research.
Keywords: high-dose chemotherapy, testicular cancer, salvage therapy