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Effectiveness of Chemotherapy in Measurable Granulosa Cell Tumors: A Retrospective Study and Review of Literature
  1. Hannah S. van Meurs, MD*,
  2. Marrije R. Buist, PhD*,
  3. Anneke M. Westermann, PhD,
  4. Gabe S. Sonke, PhD,
  5. Gemma G. Kenter, PhD* and
  6. Jacobus van der Velden, PhD*
  1. *Department of Gynecology, Center for Gynecologic Oncology Amsterdam, and
  2. Department of Medical Oncology, Academic Medical Center; and
  3. Department of Medical Oncology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, and Department of Research, Comprehensive Cancer Centre Netherlands (IKNL), Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Jacobus van der Velden, PhD, Department of Gynecology, Center for Gynecologic Oncology Amsterdam, Academic Medical Center, PO Box 22660 1100 DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail: j.vandervelden{at}


Objective Patients with irresectable granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) often receive chemotherapy. The effectiveness of this approach, however, is uncertain. The aim of our study was to assess the response rate to chemotherapy for residual and recurrent inoperable GCT.

Methods All consecutive chemotherapy-naive patients in 3 referral hospitals who were treated with chemotherapy for residual or recurrent GCT between 1968 and 2011 were included. Main outcome was the response according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumor criteria. A literature search in MEDLINE through PubMed was performed, from inception to August 19, 2013.

Results Twenty-seven patients with a GCT who received chemotherapy were identified. Eighteen patients were not evaluable because they had either no measurable disease, or no imaging was performed before and after chemotherapy. One of the 9 evaluable patients (11%) had a complete response, and 1 patient (11%) had a partial response, resulting in a response rate of 22% (95% confidence interval, 0%–49%). Seven patients (78%) had stable disease (range, 2–50 months), and none had progressive disease. Fifteen studies that assessed response rates to chemotherapy on measurable disease in a total of 224 patients showed a response rate of 50% (95% confidence interval, 44%–57%). Strict criteria of response, however, were not uniformly applied in the majority of these published series.

Conclusions In the present study, we present only a moderate beneficial effect of chemotherapy in patients with irresectable GCT with measurable disease. Comparison with previous studies is hampered by a lack of standardized response evaluation in the majority of studies. Given the toxicity of platinum-based chemotherapy, administering this treatment should be a well-considered decision.

  • Granulosa cell tumor
  • Sex cord–stromal tumor
  • Chemotherapy
  • Treatment

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.