Prognostic impact of bleomycin pulmonary toxicity on the outcomes of patients with germ cell tumors

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Bleomycin pulmonary toxicity (BPT) has been well described in patients with germ cell tumors treated with bleomycin etoposide and cisplatin chemotherapy (BEP). To assess the prognostic impact of BPT, we retrospectively identified 52 patients who underwent bleomycin etoposide and cisplatin chemotherapy from 2008 to 2017 in our institution, and evaluated the risk factors of BPT and its effect on prognosis. Patients who had received chemotherapy at another institution were excluded. BPT was defined as bleomycin discontinuation in response to pulmonary function test decline, pulmonary symptoms, or interstitial pneumonia on computed tomography without infection. We divided the patients into two groups according to this definition: BPT and non-BPT. Their median age was 34.2 years, and their median body mass index was 22.8 kg/m2. Twenty patients had a smoking history, 37 were diagnosed with non-seminoma, and 20 had lung metastasis. The median cumulative bleomycin dose was 270 mg/body. Fifteen patients were classified into the BPT group and 37 into the non-BPT group. Only body mass index < 22 was identified as a predictor of BPT in multivariable logistic models. Age or use of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor did not have a significant impact. Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed that the presence of BPT had no significant impact on either 5-year overall survival or progression-free survival. Lower body mass index can increase the risk of BPT in patients with germ cell tumors undergoing BEP. However, discontinuation of bleomycin with BPT does not adversely influence the survival outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
JournalMedical Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Bleomycin
  • Germ cell tumor
  • Pulmonary toxicity
  • Testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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