Malignant germ cell tumors in men infected with the human immunodeficiency virus: Natural history and results of therapy

John M. Timmerman, Donald W. Northfelt, Eric J. Small

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32 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine how men infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) tolerate and respond to treatment for malignant germ cell tumors (GCTs), and how GCT histology and stage compare among HIV-infected versus non-HIV-infected men. Patients and Methods: Two hundred ninety-four cases of GCT diagnosed or treated from 1980 to 1993 were reviewed. Nine new cases among HIV-infected men were identified; these were analyzed together with six cases previously reported from our institution. Results: Low-stage tumors (stages I and IIA) comprised 67% of HIV-infected and 63% of non- HIV-infected cases. Sixty-seven percent of HIV-infected cases were seminomas versus 51% of non-HIV-infected cases. Ten patients had AIDS at the time of GCT diagnosis. Five patients underwent radiation therapy and one patient underwent retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy without complications. Seven patients received chemotherapy with four cycles of cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin (PEB) or cisplatin, vinblastine, and bleomycin (PVB) without excess cytopenias or new opportunistic infections. Of seven patients treated for advanced disease, there were five complete and two partial responses. Six patients have died of AIDS at a median of 20 months after diagnosis of GCT. The median follow-up time for surviving patients has been 42 months (range, 8 to 87) and all but one remain without evidence of active disease. In no case was a patient's HIV disease classification altered by antitumor therapy. Conclusion: The natural history of GCTs is comparable in HIV-infected and non-HIV-infected men and standard therapy including orchiectomy, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy is well tolerated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1391-1397
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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