After a treatment breakthrough: A comparison of trial and population-based data for advanced testicular cancer

Eric J. Feuer, Carolin M. Frey, Otis W. Brawley, Susan G. Nayfield, Jack B. Cunningham, Nancy L. Geller, George J. Bosl, Barnett S. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine to what extent the benefits of cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy have been disseminated to all American men diagnosed with advanced testicular cancer. Patients and Methods: One hundred seventy-two advanced testicular cancer cases from five population-based registries of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program diagnosed from 1978 to 1984 were compared with 133 diagnostically comparable cases from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) vinblastine, dactinomycin, and bleomycin (VAB) regimens 7 through 9. Exclusions were made in both series for cases with elevated markers only, abdominal disease only, or extrogonodal tumors. Ratings of extent of disease using the Indiana University system (minimal/moderate or advanced) were available for the MSKCC cases, and were determined retrospectively on the SEER cases based on information abstracted from medical records. Results: Among the SEER cases, 89% reported receiving chemotherapy, and 95% of these received cisplatin-containing regimens. Survival among the MSKCC patients was significantly better than for the SEER cases in the minimal/moderate extent of disease category (95% and 73% 3-year survival rate, respectively); however, the difference for advanced cases was only marginally significant (52% and 40% 3-year survival rates, respectively). Survival did not vary significantly by year of diagnosis in either series. Conclusion: Although most of the patients in the SEER series received cisplatin-based chemotherapy, this alone did not produce results equivalent to that in the MSKCC series. Since the patients were selected to be as diagnostically comparable as possible at baseline, remaining differences in survival may be due to adherence to a fixed regimen and level of dose-intensity, adequacy of diagnostic work-up, implementation of salvage therapies and debulking surgery, and unknown factors related to who is willing and able to travel to a tertiary care center for treatment. Whatever the reason for not achieving optimal results in the SEER series, the very modest survival improvements over the time period 1978 to 1984 indicates that the differences in outcome between the two series were basically stable over the study period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-377
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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