Randomised trial of carboplatin- vs cisplatin based chemotherapy for good prognosis metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell tumours

Can we replace one chemotherapy drug with another, when treating men with testis cancer?

What was this study about?

Men who have a type of testis cancer called non-seminomatous germ cell tumour (NSGCT) which is spreading to other parts of the body (is metastatic) are usually offered chemotherapy as well as surgery. Three drugs are used – bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin – BEP. But these drugs, especially cisplatin, cause short term and long term unwanted side effects. The TE09 trial aimed to find out if another chemotherapy drug, called carboplatin, could work as well as cisplatin. Carboplatin causes less unwanted side effects. The trial studied men who were expected to do well (good prognosis).

What difference did this study make?

Following this trial, carboplatin is not used in the treatment of men with this type of cancer, unless they cannot tolerate cisplatin.

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details


Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).

When did it take place?

Men were recruited to take part in this study between 1989 and 1993. The results of the study were published in 1997.

Who was included?

598 men took part in this trial. They all had metastatic germ cell cancer and a good prognosis. They came from 46 hospitals in 10 different countries.