Combined chemotherapy and surgery in treatment of advanced germ‐cell tumors
Forty-eight selected patients with GCT who were suspected of having residual disease after two or three chemotherapy inductions underwent an attempt at resection of this residual tumor. In 37 patients all gross disease was resected: 11 had malignant tissue, eight adult teratoma, and 18 no residual neoplasm, and 9, 7 and 17, respectively, remain free of disease. Patients in whom complete resection was not possible generally did poorly. Elevated serum tumor markers following the completion of preoperative chemotherapy indicated residual malignant disease and poor probability for complete resection. Twenty-nine percent of patients with negative preoperative markers had malignancy at the time of surgery, but disease was resectable in most of these patients. The key for success is, first, the response to chemotherapy and, second, complete resection of residual disease. It is recommended that patients with initially bulky metastases (diameter greater than 5 cm) be first managed by chemotherapy, employing successive close inductions, and subsequently explored with intent to resect residual disease. When the resected specimen shows malignant elements, the patients should receive additional inductions, otherwise, maintenance chemotherapy is employed.