What`s new in testicular cancer research and treatment?
Research into testicular cancer is going on right now around the country. Each year, scientists find out more about what causes the disease, how to prevent it, and how to improve treatment.
Researchers have found inherited changes in several genes that seem to increase a man's risk of getting testicular cancer. These findings may help doctors figure out which men are at higher risk, but they need to be studied much more. And certain other changes in the genes have been linked to resistance to chemo and predict poor outcomes. These findings may help doctors choose the best treatment for each man.
Clinical trials have improved doctors' approaches to treating these cancers. Studies are expected to answer other questions, too. For example, studies have found ways to predict which men may not need lymph node surgery or radiation therapy. Studies have also found other factors that suggest certain men may need stronger treatment.
A large amount of work is being done to try to limit long-term problems of treatment while still curing patients. Doctors want to be able to better predict whose cancer is more likely to come back and then base the amount of treatment on this. Thus men would get the exact amount of treatment they need. One study reported good results of this approach in men with testicular cancer that had spread to other parts of the body.
New drugs and new drug combinations are being tested for people with cancer that comes back. Stem cell transplant is being studied as a way to help those who need high doses of chemo. Chemo treatments are also getting better. Doctors are looking at different doses and combinations of drugs that reduce side effects but still work well to kill the cancer. Doctors are also studying new ways to help men be able to father children after treatment.
Last Medical Review: 05/16/2012
Last Revised: 01/28/2013