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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 32

of 'Bleomycin-induced lung injury'

Importance of bleomycin in combination chemotherapy for good-prognosis testicular nonseminoma: a randomized study of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Genitourinary Tract Cancer Cooperative Group.
de Wit R, Stoter G, Kaye SB, Sleijfer DT, Jones WG, ten Bokkel Huinink WW, Rea LA, Collette L, Sylvester R
J Clin Oncol. 1997;15(5):1837.
PURPOSE: This prospective randomized trial was designed to compare the efficacy of etoposide plus cisplatin (EP) versus bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (BEP) chemotherapy in patients with good-prognosis metastatic nonseminomatous testicular cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Four hundred nineteen patients with good-prognosis nonseminomatous testicular cancer were randomized to receive four cycles of cisplatin 20 mg/m2 on days 1 to 5 plus etoposide 120 mg/m2 on days 1, 3, and 5 with or without bleomycin 30 mg weekly.
RESULTS: Of 395 eligible patients, 169 of 195 patients allocated to EP (87%) and 189 of 200 patients allocated to BEP (95%) achieved a complete response with chemotherapy alone or after postchemotherapy surgery. These results are significantly different (P = .0075). After a median follow-up duration of 7.3 years, eight patients (4%) on each treatment arm relapsed. In view of the low number of unfavorable treatment outcomes (11%), no significant differences were detected in time to progression (P = .136) and survival (P = .262). Both the acute and late pulmonary toxicity and neurotoxicity were significantly greater in patients who received BEP, whereas Raynaud's phenomenon occurred exclusively in patients who received BEP (P<.001). Two patients treated with BEP died of bleomycin pulmonary toxicity.
CONCLUSION: BEP is the most effective combination regimen in the treatment of disseminated nonseminomatous germ cell cancer. In this particular BEP regimen with etoposide at a dose of 360 mg/m2 per cycle, even in good-prognosis patients, bleomycin cannot be deleted without compromising treatment efficacy, but its use is associated with more toxicity (particularly pulmonary) and efforts to reduce this merit further exploration.
Department of Medical Oncology, Rotterdam Cancer Institute and University Hospital, The Netherlands. eyk@onch.azr.nl