Chemotherapy for Testicular Cancer (Germ Cell Tumors)


Chemotherapy can eliminate cancer cells throughout the body; it saves the life of about 70 percent of men with advanced testicular cancer.

Your treatment team may recommend this approach if you have testicular cancer that’s at more advanced stage or likely to metastasize (spread). This treatment can also prevent the return of advanced seminomas and nonseminomas that have spread.

Two of our more common chemotherapy treatments are:

  • EP, which is an initial treatment for advanced testicular cancer. It combines the drugs etoposide and cisplatin (Platinol®). Your treatment team may add bleomycin to EP to treat tumors with a higher risk of spreading.
  • TIP,  which combines three drugs — paclitaxel (Taxol®), ifosfamide, and cisplatin — to treat testicular cancer that’s come back after an initial round of chemotherapy. Our doctors are currently evaluating how safe and effective TIP is as an initial treatment for advanced testicular cancer that has a higher risk of coming back.
Most of the chemotherapy treatments we use were developed by our doctors and specialists.

Sometimes we recommend radiation at MSK following surgery to destroy any stray cancer cells. However, this approach is not used often anymore, and primarily reserved for men who have a large seminoma tumor or cancer that has spread beyond the testicle (metastasized).

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