Optimal radiotherapy target volumes in intracranial nongerminomatous germ cell tumors: Long-term institutional experience with chemotherapy, surgery, and dose- and field-adapted radiotherapy

William G. Breen, Miran J. Blanchard, Amulya Nageswara Rao, David Daniels, Jan Craig Buckner, Nadia N Laack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate patterns of failure after multimodality treatment of nongerminomatous germ cell tumors (NGGCTs). Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed records of 3,440 patients diagnosed with primary intracranial NGGCT between 1988 and 2014. Results: Thirty-four patients received induction chemotherapy followed by radiation with or without surgery. Median follow-up was 11.1 years (0.8-23.3). Outcomes were significantly improved in these 34 patients (5-year overall survival [OS]: 88% versus 50%, P = 0.0092), so analysis is restricted to that subset. Disease-free survival (DFS) was 67, 60, and 54% at 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. Elevated cerebrospinal fluid-α-fetoprotein (CSF-AFP) at diagnosis was associated with poorer DFS (37 vs. 89% at 10 years; P = 0.01). There was no statistically significant difference in OS, or DFS, or patterns of failure for limited radiotherapy volumes versus larger volumes; however, patients receiving initial local radiotherapy had 32% distant central nervous system (CNS) recurrence at 10 years compared to 0% for those receiving initial larger field irradiation (P = 0.09). Fifteen patients recurred. All four patients who relapsed in the spine had received local radiotherapy and had elevated serum and CSF-AFP at baseline. All three patients with ventricular relapse received local radiation therapy. Conclusions: NGGCT patients continue to relapse beyond 5 years. Late ventricular relapse occurred even in patients without clear evidence of germinoma component. Elevated CSF-AFP at diagnosis is associated with poor DFS and risk for distant CNS relapse. Patients with residual radiographic disease after chemotherapy or residual malignant histologies after second-look surgery have inferior outcomes. Our data support consideration of treatment intensification for these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
StateAccepted/In press - 2017



  • Extensive radiotherapy
  • Germ cell tumor
  • Local radiotherapy
  • Nongerminomatous germ cell tumor
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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