Literature review of management of brain metastases from germ cell tumors

Amy Le, Mona Arbab, Nabil Adra, James C. Miller, Gordon A. Watson, Kevin Shiue

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: In this review article, we discuss the role of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy in the treatment of brain metastases from germ cell tumors (GCT). Background: GCT rarely metastasize to the brain and there is limited data to guide management. Most instances of brain metastases occur in patients with non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT). Methods: We searched PubMed using the terms 'central nervous system (CNS) metastases' or 'brain metastases' and 'germ cell' from 2011 through August 2021. Review articles and prospective trials related to the treatment of brain metastases in GCT were included in addition to articles obtained by hand search of the references and clinical practice guidelines. Conclusions: We highlight the importance of using chemotherapy as first-line therapy in most situations. We discuss the very minimal data regarding surgery and its primary role when there is significant mass effect or brain shift. We also compare whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT) with the use of radiosurgery. We then provide overall recommendations based on the reviewed data and our experience as a referral center for GCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number92687
JournalChinese Clinical Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • brain metastases
  • chemotherapy
  • Germ cell tumor
  • radiation therapy
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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