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Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment of Malignant Gonadal GCTs


Standard treatment options

Surgery: The role of surgery at diagnosis for GCTs is age- and site-dependent and must be individualized. Primary resection is appropriate when feasible without undue risk of damage to adjacent structures; otherwise, an appropriate strategy is biopsy for diagnosis followed by subsequent excision in selected patients who have residual masses following chemotherapy.

Stage I

  • Surgery and close follow-up observation are indicated to document that a normalization of the tumor markers occurs after resection.[10,3]

Stages II through IV

  • Surgery and treatment with four to six cycles of standard PEB. These patients have an overall survival (OS) outcome greater than 90% with this regimen, suggesting that a reduction in therapy could be considered.[8,9]
  • Surgery and treatment with six cycles of JEB.[10]

Treatment options under clinical evaluation for stages I through IV in patients younger than 15 years

The following is an example of a national and/or institutional clinical trial that is currently being conducted. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

  • A United Kingdom CCG trial is studying reducing the total JEB cycles.

Testicular GCTs in adolescents and young adult males

Because the biology of testicular GCTs among adolescents and young adult males is different from that of testicular tumors arising in infants and young boys, the treatment guidelines described above for young boys may not be strictly applicable to adolescent males. In particular, the use of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection may play a crucial role both in early stage testicular GCT [11] and for residual disease after chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic GCT.[12,13] In this age group, the presence of a sarcomatous component in the primary testis GCT does not alter the prognosis, but if a sarcomatous component is found in a metastatic lesion, survival is likely to be compromised.[14]

(Refer to the PDQ summary on Testicular Cancer Treatment for more information.)

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with childhood malignant testicular germ cell tumor and childhood malignant ovarian germ cell tumor. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

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