Survival Outcomes After High-dose Chemotherapy and Stem Cell Transplantation in the Salvage Setting for Relapsed or Refractory Germ Cell Cancers
Background/Aim: High-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and stem cell transplantation (SCT) have been established as the standard of care in patients with relapsed germ cell tumours (GCTs). We evaluated the safety, efficacy and tolerability of HDCT/ SCT in patients with relapsed GCTs. Patients and Methods: Twenty-eight patients with relapsed GCTs, treated with HDCT, were included in this study. The conditioning regime was carboplatin, etoposide, cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel. Clinical, radiological imaging and tumour markers determined treatment outcomes. Results: Median age was 35 years (range=21-57 years) with 26 males and 2 females. Median time to first relapse was 6 months. Median time to progression after 2nd line chemotherapy was 17.3 months. Fourteen patients had peripheral neurotoxicity (≥Grade 2) (50%), 4 patients developed renal failure, 5 had ototoxicity (≥Grade 2) and 1 patient developed acute myeloid leukaemia. Median survival was 62 months and 16 patients (57%) are in clinical follow-up with surveillance. Conclusion: In relapsed GCT patients, median survival may exceed 5 years post-HDCT and SCT.