Confirming Cancer Treatment Standards

Advanced testicular cancer standard treatments confirmed

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) The most common cancer in young men affects the testis. These are called germ cell tumors or GCTs. The guidelines for treating advanced (cancer that has spread or metastasized) cases have recently been studied.

Three cycles of chemotherapy with bleomycin, etoposide, and platinum (BEP) are still the standard therapy for advanced GCTs that aren't expected to progress.

For higher risk tumors, four cycles of BEP are still recommended, according to a recent literature review.

"Learn the specifics of your chemo regimen."

Medical oncologist, Dr. Fabio Calabro` of the San Camillo Forlanini Hospital in Rome, Italy, led the study.

Young men who live three years after being treated for metastatic cancer of the testis have essentially a normal life expectancy, the authors noted. That's why they were looking to confirm the most effective treatments.

In this study, investigators reviewed the literature of previous research studies and trials conducted between 1987 and 2011.  

From this review, researchers learned that the standard therapy for advanced testicular cancer remains the most effective. 

The authors wrote, "Different studies have tried to incorporate new promising agents or drug dose intensification."

Despite these efforts, nothing has proven to be better than three cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy for men with low-risk tumors. Four cycles of the same regimen are suggested for more serious tumors.

The short- and long-term side effects of this treatment can be substantial and should be thoroughly discussed.

This study was published in the July issue of European Urology. Funding information was not given. No conflicts of interest were disclosed. 

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Review Date: 
August 13, 2012
Last Updated:
January 2, 2014