Successful Treatment of Pituitary Germinoma with Etoposide, Cisplatin, Vincristine, Methotrexate and Bleomycin Chemotherapy Without Radiotherapy.

Scherz, Amina; Feller, Katrin; Berezowska, Sabina Anna; Genitsch Gratwohl, Vera; Zweifel, Martin (2017). Successful Treatment of Pituitary Germinoma with Etoposide, Cisplatin, Vincristine, Methotrexate and Bleomycin Chemotherapy Without Radiotherapy. Anticancer research, 37(6), pp. 3111-3115. International Inst. of Anticancer Research 10.21873/anticanres.11668

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We report on the case of a 25-year-old man with pituitary germinoma. The patient had noticed polydipsia, reduced sexual function, and loss of body hair. Laboratory investigations confirmed panhypopituitarism including diabetes insipidus. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain showed a 14×8.4 mm enhancing lesion of the pituitary stalk and histopathology of the neurosurgical biopsy confirmed pituitary germinoma. The patient was treated with 3 cycles of chemotherapy, consisting of 150 mg/m2 etoposide and 75 mg/m2 cisplatin, with the administration of intrathecal 12.5 mg methotrexate, on day one, alternating every 10 to 11 days with 1 mg/m2 vincristine, 1,000 mg/m2 methotrexate on day 1 and 30 mg/m2 bleomycin on day 2. MRI scans showed lasting complete remission more than a year after completion of chemotherapy. Intracranial germinomas are exquisitely sensitive to radiation. However, due to concerns of side-effects (radiation-associated tumour, relapse outside the radiation field, mental and pituitary hormonal dysfunction), and after discussing both approaches carefully with the patient, the decision was made to treat his pituitary germinoma with chemotherapy alone. Further studies should address the question as to whether a modulated approach, using radiotherapy only as a salvage in patients with relapse, might result in a better overall outcome, given the potentially harmful long-term side-effects of radiotherapy to the brain.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Medical Oncology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Scherz, Amina, Feller, Katrin Madeleine, Berezowska, Sabina Anna, Genitsch Gratwohl, Vera


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




International Inst. of Anticancer Research




Vera Genitsch Gratwohl

Date Deposited:

16 Feb 2018 11:14

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:10

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Amina Scherz and Katrin Feller contributed equally to this study.

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Pituitary germinoma chemotherapy diabetes insipidus germ cell tumour panhypopituitarism radiotherapy




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