Prognostic factors in patients progressing after platinum-based chemotherapy for metastatic non-seminomatous germ cell tumours

Understanding more about the treatment of men with testis cancer which has returned after chemotherapy

What was this study about?

Many men who are treated for testis cancer (also known as a germ cell tumour) are cured, even if it has spread to other parts of the body. But it can be difficult to treat men with testis cancer which comes back (relapses) after an initial course of chemotherapy. Researchers found it hard to work out whether new treatments worked better or worse than existing treatments, because they didn’t understand enough about how the cancer grew, and how it responded to treatment. So this study aimed to understand more about what happened to men who were not cured by their first chemotherapy treatment for this type of cancer.

What difference did this study make?

Researchers were able to identify some factors that would help doctors to work out which men would be most likely to be cured by a further course of chemotherapy, if they had not been cured by the first chemotherapy they received. Using these factors, they could identify a group of patients – about one quarter of the total – who were very unlikely to be cured by standard treatment and might therefore benefit from a different type of treatment.

This study has helped researchers to decide which men might benefit most from different types of treatment. It has also helped researchers to interpret the results of clinical trials in this type of cancer.

Type of study

Observational study

Contact details


Who funded the study?

The Medical Research Council.

When did it take place?

Researchers looked at information about men treated between 1982 and 1986. The results of this study were published in 1999.

Who was included?

Starting with the 795 men with who contributed to the TE07 study, further information was collected about the 164 men who were not cured by their initial course of chemotherapy, and who had therefore been given further treatment.