Long-term neurotoxicity and quality of life in testicular cancer survivors—a nationwide cohort study

Jakob Lauritsen*, Mikkel Bandak, Michael Kreiberg, Julie Wang Skøtt, Thomas Wagner, Josephine Julie Rosenvilde, Lars Dysager, Mads Agerbæk, Gedske Daugaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose: To evaluate neurotoxicity in testicular cancer survivors (TCSs) years after treatment and secondly the influence of neurotoxicity on quality-of-life (QoL). Methods: We identified 2234 TCSs who completed the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy/Gynecologic Oncology Group-Neurotoxicity questionnaire. QoL was evaluated with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30. Patients were grouped according to treatment strategy: surveillance (N = 1113), infradiaphragmatic radiotherapy (N = 301), cisplatin-etoposide-bleomycin (BEP) (N = 759), and more than one line of treatment (MTOL) (N = 61). Association of treatment modality with long-term neurotoxicity was analyzed with ordinal logistic regression. Secondly, associations between neurotoxicity and QoL were analyzed in BEP-treated patients. Analyses were age-adjusted and repeated with additional adjustment for comorbidity, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Results: After a median follow-up of 18.4 years, treatment with BEP and MTOL was associated with overall increased risk of neurotoxicity (odds ratio 2.4–4.7 depending on treatment intensity, P < 0.001) as well as subscales (peripheral neuropathy, ototoxicity, and dysfunction associated with neuropathy, all P < 0.001). Radiotherapy and surveillance were not associated with neurotoxicity. In patients treated with BEP, neurotoxicity was highly associated with all indicators of worse QoL outcomes (P-trend: 1.5 × 10−17 to 1.1 × 10−28) after almost 20 years of follow-up. Conclusions: Treatment with BEP was associated with long-term neurotoxicity, which was highly associated with decreased QoL. Strategies to ameliorate or prevent neurotoxicity should be investigated. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Treatment with chemotherapy for testicular cancer induces long-term neuro- and ototoxicity which may have severe influence on quality-of-life years after treatment cessation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25. Sep 2020


  • Cisplatin
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Quality of life
  • Testicular cancer

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