Initial therapy for Germ Cell Tumors are carried out by the medical Oncologists affiliated with the BC Cancer Agency.
The prognosis for most patients with non-seminomatous tumours is excellent, with 90% of patients cured with modern combination chemotherapy. Patient and laboratory characteristics have been useful in identifying some patients who are expected to fail standard chemotherapy. For these patients, and for all germ cell tumours that recur after standard chemotherapy treatment, high-dose chemotherapy should be considered.
Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT)
High-dose chemotherapy is effective in germ cell tumour patients but requires storage of the patient's own (autologous) stem cells in order to prevent bone marrow failure.
This treatment has been most effective early in the course of this disease and can cure 50% of patients who are still showing a good response to standard doses of chemotherapy. On the other hand, the success rate with this approach has been limited in those patients with tumours that are resistant to standard drugs at the time of BMT. Patients with resistant disease are not considered candidates for high-dose therapy in Vancouver.
The following web sites may provide further helpful information: