Adjuvant bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin (BEP) in the treatment of "high risk" stage I non-seminomatous germ cell tumours

Can a short course of chemotherapy stop testis cancer coming back?

What was this study about?

Testis cancer often affects younger men, and is usually diagnosed when it has not spread beyond the testis. TE05 was a prospective study, looking at men who were diagnosed with a type of testis cancer called stage I non-seminomatous germ cell testicular tumour (NSGCT). In these men, although the cancer has not yet spread beyond their testis, doctors thought it very likely that the cancer would recur (come back) in many of them.

The aim of the TE05 study was to see whether a short course (approximately 6 weeks) of chemotherapy could help reduce the risk of NSGCT recurring. All of the men in this study were treated with chemotherapy as well as orchidectomy (removal of one or both testicles). Researchers then followed what happened to them for an average of 4 years.

What difference did this study make?

This study found that treating this group of men with a short course of chemotherapy could radically reduce the risk of the cancer coming back – when the results of the study were reported, cancer had not recurred for 98% of men who were treated with chemotherapy.

This was a landmark study. It meant that, around the world, a short course of chemotherapy is now routinely offered to men with NSGCT who are at high risk of the cancer coming back.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details


Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council.

When did it take place?

Men were recruited between 1987 and 1994.

Who was included?

114 men with NSGCT took part in this study. They came from 16 centres in the UK and one in Norway.