The International Germ Cell Consensus (IGCC) classification identifies good, intermediate and poor prognosis groups among patients with metastatic nonseminomatous germ cell tumours (NSGCT). It uses the risk factors primary site, presence of nonpulmonary visceral metastases and tumour markers alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH). The IGCC classification is easy to use and remember, but lacks flexibility. We aimed to examine the extent of any loss in discrimination within the IGCC classification in comparison with alternative modelling by formal weighing of the risk factors. We analysed survival of 3048 NSGCT patients with Cox regression and recursive partitioning for alternative classifications. Good, intermediate and poor prognosis groups were based on predicted 5-year survival. Classifications were further refined by subgrouping within the poor prognosis group. Performance was measured primarily by a bootstrap corrected c-statistic to indicate discriminative ability for future patients. The weights of the risk factors in the alternative classifications differed slightly from the implicit weights in the IGCC classification. Discriminative ability, however, did not increase clearly (IGCC classification, c = 0.732; Cox classification, c = 0.730; Recursive partitioning classification, C = 0.709). Three subgroups could be identified within the poor prognosis groups, resulting in classifications with five prognostic groups and slightly better discriminative ability (c = 0.740). In conclusion, the IGCC classification in three prognostic groups is largely supported by Cox regression and recursive partitioning. Cox regression was the most promising tool to define a more refined classification.

Cox regression, Germ cell cancer, Prognostic classifications, Recursive partitioning,
British Journal of Cancer
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Dijk, M.R, Steyerberg, E.W, Stenning, S.P, Dusseldorp, E, & Habbema, J.D.F. (2004). Survival of patients with nonseminomatous germ cell cancer: A review of the IGCC classification by Cox regression and recursive partitioning. British Journal of Cancer (Vol. 90, pp. 1176–1183). doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6601665