Testis Cancer

Testis Cancer Research Update

A diagnosis of testicular cancer was once almost akin to a death sentence. Over the past 50 years, that’s dramatically changed. The chemotherapy regimen developed by Larry Einhorn, MD, has lifted the cure rate to almost 95 percent. Though that’s impressive, Einhorn and his colleagues at Indiana University are not satisfied and continue a robust research program focused on early detection, resistant or recurrent disease and lessening the long-term side effects of treatment.

Larry Einhorn, MD, Distinguished Professor, Livestrong Foundation Professor of Oncology

Each year, about 8,000 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer. Often, they make their way to Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the few places in the nation with the expertise and resources to fundamentally alter outcomes. For those men who cannot travel to IU, Einhorn and his team continue to consult directly with patients and their physicians—at no charge—to ensure they are getting the best possible care wherever they are.

Our research does more than help cure those who turn to us–it changes the standard of care for patients worldwide.

Honoring John Cleland

A 47-year cancer survivor, John Cleland was the first person successfully treated for testicular cancer, thanks to Einhorn’s discovery. He died at age 71 in 2022. The John Cleland Fellowship in Testis Cancer Research was established to honor his legacy and encourage ongoing testis cancer research conducted by IU oncology trainees.

John Cleland with Dr. Einhorn

The inaugural Cleland Fellow Noah Richardson, MD, is already making an impact. Working alongside Dr. Einhorn and others, he authored a study focused on men who had late relapses of their germ cell cancers. Relapses are rare recurrences of testicular cancer more than two years after completion of initial therapy.

While testicular cancer is highly curable with chemotherapy when first diagnosed—and even in early relapse with further chemotherapy—men whose cancer return in the late relapse period have a low chance of cure with chemotherapy alone. Research showed that surgery continues to be the best treatment option to achieve a cure. Additionally, a simple blood test can identify some late relapses. This study reinforces the critical need for testis cancer survivors to continue annual follow-ups beyond the five-year mark to hopefully detect these relapses earlier when surgery could still be an option for curing these men.

Support the Future of Testis Cancer Research

Philanthropy maximizes IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center’s push to develop new therapies and answer questions that save lives.

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For other ways to support testicular cancer research, contact Amanda Massey at 317-274-3205 or acmassey@iu.edu.


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