Medline: 8381708

Cancer 71(4, Suppl): 1581-1590, 1993.

Update on malignant ovarian germ cell tumors.

Gershenson DM


The evolution of therapy for malignant ovarian germ cell tumors has been one of the true success stories in oncology. This article reviews the major advances in this field, with emphasis on more recent developments. During the past two decades, the nomenclature and histologic criteria for the major histologic subtypes have been standardized. Although the role of secondary debulking is uncertain, it probably has merit in selected patients. The use of second-look laparotomy should be limited as much as possible. Chemotherapeutic regimens have evolved to the current "gold standard", the combination of bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin, with overall disease-free survival rates of greater than 95%. For patients with metastatic dysgerminoma, chemotherapy has replaced radiation therapy as the treatment of choice. For those few patients who do not respond to first-line therapy, the combination of vinblastine, ifosfamide, and cisplatin is the most popular regimen for the subset of platinum-sensitive tumors. For those with platinum-resistant tumors, dose intensification with autologous bone marrow rescue or Phase II drugs are being investigated. Studies on the late effects of treatment reveal that reproductive potential can be preserved in most young patients. In summary, although the progress in this field has been phenomenal, small incremental advances will continue to occur during the 1990s. (98 Refs)

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Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms- Universität Bonn
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Dr. G. Quade