In stage I seminomas, carboplatin just as good, if not better, than radiation
(7 August 2005: VIDYYA MEDICAL NEWS SERVICE) -- Because the cure rates for men with stage I seminoma, a type of testicular cancer, are nearly 100 percent, clinicians focus on relapses and side effects in evaluating the best treatment. To this end, a European research team compared the standard adjuvant treatment, radiation, with single-dose carboplatin chemotherapy to see if adverse effects can be reduced. Their results are published in the July 23 Lancet.
Men in the study, who had their cancerous testicle removed before enrollment, were randomized to receive either a single intravenous dose of carboplatin or radiation of the groin dosed between 30 Gy in 15 sessions and 20 Gy in 10 sessions. The researchers used chest x-rays; chest, abdomen, and pelvic CT scans; and blood tests for tumor markers to monitor recurrence. Patients recorded side effects of treatment in a diary.
After a median of 4 years of follow-up, relapse-free survival was nearly the same in both groups: 96.7 percent in the radiation group and 97.7 percent in the carboplatin group after 2 years, and 95.9 percent versus 94.8 percent, respectively, after 3 years. Men who received carboplatin had less fatigue after treatment and returned to work more quickly than those who received radiation. "As well as carboplatin having fewer acute toxic effects than radiotherapy," the authors wrote, "some preliminary data indicate that carboplatin treatment delays and possibly reduces the incidence of contralateral second germ-cell tumours." They also noted that more follow-up is needed to confirm their findings.
Return to Vidyya Medical News Service for 7 August 2005