Intensive chemotherapy as salvage treatment for solid tumors: focus on germ cell cancer

Germ cell tumors present contrasting biological and molecular features compared to many solid tumors, which may partially explain their unusual sensitivity to chemotherapy. Reduced DNA repair capacity and enhanced induction of apoptosis appear to be key factors in the sensitivity of germ cell tumors to cisplatin. Despite substantial cure rates, some patients relapse and subsequently die of their disease. Intensive doses of chemotherapy are used to counter mechanisms of drug resistance. So far, high-dose chemotherapy with hematopoietic stem cell support for solid tumors is used only in the sett...

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