Patients and methods: Patients were planned to receive cisplatin 20 mg/m2 and etoposide 100 mg/m2 days 1-5, and pegfilgrastim 6 mg day 6, all repeated every 2 weeks for four cycles (three cycles for good prognosis). Bleomycin was given at 30 000 IU weekly to a total of 12 doses (9 doses for good prognosis). Primary end point was feasibility, defined as the proportion of patients able to complete the etoposide and cisplatin components of BEP and be eligible to receive a fourth cycle of BEP by day 50.
Results: Twelve poor, 16 intermediate and 15 good prognosis (n = 43) eligible patients were enrolled. Two patients aged >40 years were ineligible and excluded from analyses. The regimen was feasible in 86%, not feasible in 7% and not assessable in 7% of patients. Most common grade 3/4 adverse events were non-neutropenic infection (16%) and febrile neutropenia (12%). Complete response (CR) to chemotherapy and surgery was achieved in 33% poor-prognosis, 81% intermediate-prognosis and 100% good-prognosis patients. At median follow-up of 27 months (range 6-42), the 2-year progression-free survival was 50% for poor-prognosis, 94% for intermediate-prognosis and 92% for good-prognosis patients.
Conclusion: Accelerated BEP is feasible and tolerable. Efficacy data appear to be promising. This trial and a similar UK study provide the rationale for a randomised trial comparing accelerated versus standard BEP.