Medline ® Abstract for Reference 31
Elevated germ cell markers in carcinoma of uncertain primary site do not predict response to platinum based chemotherapy.
Currow DC, Findlay M, Cox K, Harnett PR
Eur J Cancer. 1996;32A(13):2357.
We carried out a retrospective review of the medical records of patients with metastatic carcinoma of unknown primary and either raised alpha fetoprotein (AFP) or beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta HCG) over a period of 6 years at three teaching hospital oncology units to assess response to platinum based chemotherapy. 15 patients were identified who fitted these criteria. Of these, 3 received no treatment because of poor functional status, 2 patients received only radiotherapy for symptomatic disease and died within 3 months of diagnosis and 1 patient died 2 weeks after diagnosis having received his first cycle of cisplatin-based chemotherapy. 9 patients received at least 2 cycles of chemotherapy. A complete tumour response was seen in only one patient who presented with midline lymphadenopathy and remains disease-free 46 months after treatment. This presentation was consistent with disease already known to herald platinum sensitivity. In the other 8 patients, there was only one partial response that lasted 2 months. The median survival for this group of 9 patients was 4.5 months (range 3 to>46 months). Our data do not support the postulate that elevated germ cell markers in patients with carcinoma of unknown primary predict a response to cisplatin based chemotherapy.
Department of Medical Oncology and Palliative Services, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, NSW, Australia.