Long term outcomes in patients with intracranial germinomas: a single institution experience of irradiation with or without chemotherapy

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Complete remission can be achieved soon after irradiation in patients with intracranial germinoma. This study aimed to analyze the follow-up outcome of intracranial germinoma patients. About 39 intracranial germinoma patients (29 males and 10 females; average age, 15 years; range, 7–27 years) treated at Kyoto University Hospital from 1978 to 2004 were included in the study group. Six patients had multifocal disease at initial diagnosis, and 10 had human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)-producing tumors. Thirteen patients were treated with craniospinal axis irradiation, 6 with whole-brain irradiation, 17 with whole-ventricle irradiation, and 3 with local field irradiation. Since 1997, 15 patients were treated with reduced–dose whole-ventricle irradiation (median, 23.4 Gy; range, 20.4–27 Gy) followed by a local boost (median, 40.8 Gy; range, 36–54 Gy) combined with chemotherapy. The median follow-up was 94 months (18 months to 25 years). The 5- and 10-year overall survival (OS) rates of the entire group were 97 and 90%, respectively. The 5- and 10-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates of the entire group were 91 and 87%, respectively. The 8-year OS and PFS in 15 patients treated by whole-ventricle irradiation combined with chemotherapy were 100% and 92%, respectively. Four patients had recurrences within a median period of 59.5 months (51–85 months). All relapses occurred outside the radiation fields. Tumor site, tumor size, HCG production, multifocal disease and radiation dose to the primary site or whole ventricle did not significantly affect PFS. All initial recurrences of intracranial germinoma occurred at the distant site out of the radiation field. Our data suggested that reduced doses to the whole ventricle, combined with chemotherapy, should be sufficiently effective in patients with intracranial germinoma.

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