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Delivery of chemotherapy for testicular cancer in routine practice: a population-based study

Karim S, Wei X, Leveridge MJ, Siemens DR, Robinson AG, Bedard PL, Booth CM. Urol Oncol. 2019; 37(3):183.e17-24. Epub 2018 Nov 23.

Introduction — Maintenance of chemotherapy dose intensity is a cornerstone of management in testicular germ cell tumors. We describe chemotherapy delivery and outcomes of patients in routine practice.

Methods — The Ontario Cancer Registry was linked to electronic records of treatment to identify patients diagnosed with testicular cancer treated with orchiectomy and chemotherapy from 2005 to 2010. We describe chemotherapy delivery and dose intensity. Overall survival was measured from the start of chemotherapy.

Results — During the study period, 552 new cases of testicular cancer were treated with orchiectomy and chemotherapy; drug/regimen details were available for 475 (86%) cases. The study population included 324 patients with nonseminoma and 151 with seminoma. The majority of patients were treated with bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) (83%, 394/475) or etoposide and cisplatin (EP) (6%, 30/475); 89% (379/424) received 3 to 4 cycles of treatment. Thirty two percent of all BEP patients (125/394) had at least 1 dose omission of bleomycin; this rate increased to 51% of patients treated with BEP × 4. Eight percent (33/397) of evaluable BEP/EP patients had a dose reduction/omission of cisplatin and 21% (82/397) had a dose delay of >6 days. Among the BEP/EP cases, 44% (174/397) had reduced chemotherapy dose intensity. Five-year overall survival for all cases was 95%.

Conclusions — Almost half of patients treated with BEP/EP chemotherapy in routine practice have some form of reduced chemotherapy delivery. Despite this, long-term survival in the general population is very high. Further studies are required to understand the extent to which dose delivery might influence outcomes.

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