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Ovarian Cancer Health Center

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Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Recurrent Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors


Standard treatment options:

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Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

Patients with recurrent pure dysgerminoma of the ovary are candidates for clinical trials, such as (GOG-90), which has been closed. Some consideration should be given to the use of high-dose regimens with rescue.

Other Germ Cell Tumors

Standard treatment options:

  • Patients with recurrent germ cell tumors of the ovary other than pure dysgerminoma should be treated with chemotherapy, the type of which is determined by previous treatment.[2] Radiation therapy is not effective in this setting. Cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy is effective.[1,3,4] Patients who do not respond to a cisplatin-based combination may still attain a durable remission with VAC or ifosfamide/cisplatin as salvage therapy.[1] Newer potential treatments include an ifosfamide combination [5] or high-dose chemotherapy and autologous marrow rescue.[6,7,8] Although the role of secondary cytoreductive surgery for patients with recurrent or progressive ovarian germ cell tumors remains controversial, it may have some benefit for a select group of patients, particularly those with immature teratoma.[9] After maximal effort for surgical cytoreduction, chemotherapy should be considered.

Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

  • Patients with recurrent germ cell tumors of the ovary are candidates for clinical trials. Some consideration should be given to the use of high-dose regimens with rescue.

Current Clinical Trials

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

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Williams SD, Blessing JA, Moore DH, et al.: Cisplatin, vinblastine, and bleomycin in advanced and recurrent ovarian germ-cell tumors. A trial of the Gynecologic Oncology Group. Ann Intern Med 111 (1): 22-7, 1989.
  2. Williams SD, Blessing JA, Hatch KD, et al.: Chemotherapy of advanced dysgerminoma: trials of the Gynecologic Oncology Group. J Clin Oncol 9 (11): 1950-5, 1991.
  3. Williams SD, Birch R, Einhorn LH, et al.: Treatment of disseminated germ-cell tumors with cisplatin, bleomycin, and either vinblastine or etoposide. N Engl J Med 316 (23): 1435-40, 1987.
  4. Taylor MH, Depetrillo AD, Turner AR: Vinblastine, bleomycin, and cisplatin in malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary. Cancer 56 (6): 1341-9, 1985.
  5. Munshi NC, Loehrer PJ, Roth BJ, et al.: Vinblastine, ifosfamide and cisplatin (VeIP) as second line chemotherapy in metastatic germ cell tumors (GCT). [Abstract] Proceedings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 9: A-520, 134, 1990.
  6. Broun ER, Nichols CR, Kneebone P, et al.: Long-term outcome of patients with relapsed and refractory germ cell tumors treated with high-dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow rescue. Ann Intern Med 117 (2): 124-8, 1992.
  7. Motzer RJ, Bosl GJ: High-dose chemotherapy for resistant germ cell tumors: recent advances and future directions. J Natl Cancer Inst 84 (22): 1703-9, 1992.
  8. Mandanas RA, Saez RA, Epstein RB, et al.: Long-term results of autologous marrow transplantation for relapsed or refractory male or female germ cell tumors. Bone Marrow Transplant 21 (6): 569-76, 1998.
  9. Munkarah A, Gershenson DM, Levenback C, et al.: Salvage surgery for chemorefractory ovarian germ cell tumors. Gynecol Oncol 55 (2): 217-23, 1994.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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