Southwest Oncology Group phase II study of arsenic trioxide in patients with refractory germ cell malignancies

Tomasz M. Beer, Catherine M. Tangen, Craig R. Nichols, Kim A. Margolin, Robert Dreicer, William T. Stephenson, David I. Quinn, Derek Raghavan, E. David Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. To the authors' knowledge, no satisfactory therapy is available for patients with refractory germ cell neoplasms. The activity and safety of arsenic trioxide in refractory germ cell tumors was assessed. METHODS. Twenty patients were treated with arsenic trioxide at a dose of 0.25 mg/kg/day and administered intravenously over 1 to 2 hours on Days 1-5 and repeated every 28 days. RESULTS. There were no complete or partial responses. The median progression-free survival was 1 month and the median overall survival was 2 months. Three patients died as a result of adverse events believed to be possibly related to treatment: ventricular arrhythmia, adult respiratory distress syndrome, and pneumonitis. CONCLUSIONS. In the current study, arsenic trioxide in the dose regimen and schedule employed was found to have no activity in men with refractory germ cell malignancies. Treatment was associated with severe toxicity. Dismal overall survival reflects the poor outcome in this patient group and highlights the acute need for new agents with activity in refractory germ cell neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2624-2629
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Arsenic trioxide
  • Germ cell cancer
  • Refractory
  • Treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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