An open-label, multicenter phase II trial of capecitabine in patients with cisplatin-refractory or relapsed germ cell tumors

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Abstract

The objective of this multicenter phase II trial was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of capecitabine in patients with cisplatin-refractory or relapsed germ cell tumors. Between March 2003-June 2004, 14 patients refractory to at least two regimens of cisplatin-based chemotherapy or with relapse after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation received 1250 mg/qm capecitabine orally twice daily for 14 days in 3-week cycles. Treatment was continued until tumor progression. All patients were heavily pretreated with a median number of four previous lines of chemotherapy (range, 2–11) and 86% had relapsed after high-dose chemotherapy with peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. No patient responded to study treatment. Nine patients (64%) had progressive disease after two cycles. Two patients already stopped treatment after one cycle, because of a clinically overt tumor progression. One patient died of his tumor progression at the end of the second cycle. Two patients received four cycles of capecitabine, as progression was less than 30%. The median survival time was 4 months (range, 0–10). The toxicity profile was favorable. Eighty-six percent of the cycles could be applied without dose modifications or delay. Grade III/IV toxicities (diarrhea and anorexia in one patient each) occurred in 7% of the cases. No hematotoxicity grade III/IV was observed. Neutropenia grade I/II was documented in 21%, anemia in 35% and thrombocytopenia in 14% of the patients. Capecitabine was well tolerated, but is not effective in heavily pretreated patients with cisplatin-refractory or relapsed germ cell tumors.

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