Successful management of brain metastasis from malignant germ cell tumours with standard induction chemotherapy

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Because of possible long-term toxicity, cranial radiotherapy (RT) was withheld as part of standard treatment for brain metastasis (BM) from non-seminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT). This study evaluates this change in management in our institute. Twenty-two consecutive patients with BM from NSGCT were analysed. Ten patients presented with BM at initial diagnosis (group 1), two patients developed BM at extra-cranial complete remission (CR) (group 2), and ten patients during treatment of the primary tumour without achieving CR (group 3). All patients received cisplatin-based induction chemotherapy. In group 1, three patients with a single metastasis and three patients with multiple BM underwent craniotomy. Five patients received chemotherapy and whole brain RT (WBRT), and five patients received chemotherapy without WBRT. In group 2, both patients underwent craniotomy for a relapse with multiple BM. One patient received additional high-dose (HD) chemotherapy with WBRT, and the other HD chemotherapy without WBRT. In group 3, one patient underwent craniotomy, seven patients received WBRT, and four patients additional HD chemotherapy. In group 1, five of ten patients (50%) achieved CR (follow-up 49–245 months), in four of those five without WBRT. In group 2, both patients achieved CR (follow-up 146 and 211 months). In group 3, one of ten patients (10%) achieved CR after HD chemotherapy and WBRT (follow-up 107 months). It is concluded that cure in patients with BM from NSGCT can be achieved with standard induction chemotherapy without WBRT.

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