Phase II study of paclitaxel plus gemcitabine salvage chemotherapy for germ cell tumors after progression following high-dose chemotherapy with tandem transplant.Einhorn LH, Brames MJ, Juliar B, Williams SD.
Division of Hematology-Oncology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Walther Cancer Institute, Indianapolis, IN, USA. [email protected]

PURPOSE: To determine long-term survival and potential cure with salvage chemotherapy with paclitaxel plus gemcitabine after progression after both cisplatin combination chemotherapy and subsequent high-dose chemotherapy with tandem transplantation. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred eighty-four patients received salvage high-dose chemotherapy at Indiana University (Indianapolis, IN) from February 1996 to December 2004. After further evidence of progressive disease, 32 patients were subsequently treated with paclitaxel 100 mg/n2 over 1 hour plus gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 over 30 minutes, days 1, 8, and 15 every 4 weeks for a maximum of six courses. This is a retrospective review of this patient population. Patients were evaluated for response, duration of response, and survival. Patients were ineligible if they received prior paclitaxel or gemcitabine. RESULTS: Ten (31%) of 32 patients achieved objective response, including four partial remissions (2- to 6-month duration) and six complete responses (CRs). Four of these six CRs (12.5% of total patient population) are continuously disease free (NED) with paclitaxel plus gemcitabine alone (no postchemotherapy surgery) at more than 20, 40, 44, and 57 months from start of paclitaxel plus gemcitabine, respectively. One additional CR is currently NED more than 63 months after paclitaxel plus gemcitabine with two subsequent resections of carcinoma. CONCLUSION: Long-term disease-free survival is possible with paclitaxel plus gemcitabine in this patient population that progressed after high-dose chemotherapy, and had not received prior paclitaxel or gemcitabine.