Chemotherapy for CNS GCTs

  • C. Balmaceda
  • S. Modak
  • J. Finlay


The conventional therapy for CNS GCTs is irradiation [73], administered either alone (mainly for germinomas) or with chemotherapy (for non-germinomatous GCTs). Germinomas are exquisitely radiosensitive; 65% to 95% 5-year survival rates have been reported for patients with germinomas when the treatment is irradiation alone. Non-germinomatous GCTs are less sensitive to irradiation and the 5-year survival rates for patients afflicted with them range from 20% to 56% [58,82]. Notwithstanding its effectiveness, cranial irradiation may lead to long-term sequelae, including intellectual deterioration, not only in children [27], but also in adults [24]. It may also lead to growth retardation, endocrine dysfunction [22], hearing loss and about a 12% incidence of secondary tumors [52]. Craniospinal irradiation carries the additional morbidity of growth arrest, marrow suppression and damage to the gonadal organs. Reports of long term survivors of CNS GCTs treated with irradiation emphasize its long-term cognitive effects, including difficulties with school and social interactions.


Germ Cell Tumor Pineal Region Craniospinal Irradiation Malignant Germ Cell Tumor Intracranial Germ Cell Tumor 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Balmaceda
    • 1
  • S. Modak
    • 2
  • J. Finlay
    • 3
  1. 1.Neurological InstituteColumbia Presbyterian Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric OncologyNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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