Testicular Cancer Research Explained

A 95% cure rate is good—but not good enough

Four decades ago, a man diagnosed with testicular cancer had a survival rate of just 5 percent. Today, that number is 95 percent.

The tables turned on testicular cancer thanks to a chemotherapy regimen developed by Larry Einhorn, MD. Today, hundreds of thousands of men around the world are alive because of this treatment protocol.

For these survivors, IU research has led to the gift of a long life. But the IU team still isn’t satisfied. They continue to chip away at the survival rate, finding ways to save men who do not respond to initial therapies. For example, our researchers are collaborating with bioengineers on a compound to signal the immune system to attack testis cancer cells.

IU researchers are also focused on reducing the “cost of the cure”—the long-term side effects that sometimes come with treatment. We lead a global team of researchers looking to reduce the toll of treatment, including tinnitus, hearing loss, cardiovascular issues, and numbness in extremities.

IU remains the international leader in testis cancer research and care, drawing patients from Indiana and around the world.


Don’t miss: Dr. Einhorn answers questions about testicular cancer

NEW! Rapid Access Clinic

At IU Health’s new Rapid Access Clinic, you’ll receive prompt access to the specialized care you need to achieve the best possible outcome.

If you’re told you may have cancer, a certified physician assistant will guide you through an expedited diagnostic process that gets you into treatment faster and back to life more quickly.

Learn More

Cancer survivor, cancer scientist: Eamon’s story

Eamon Eccles was a 19-year-old sophomore at IU-Bloomington when testicular cancer upended his college life. After a successful surgery, his oncologist introduced him to Dr. Einhorn as part of a five-year surveillance plan to make sure his cancer didn’t return.

That experience inspired Eamon to switch from biology to oncology. After graduating from IU School of Medicine in May 2022, he plans to do a combined residency program in medicine and pediatrics, followed by a fellowship in hematology/oncology.

His advice for cancer patients of any age? “Let’s do what we’ve got to do.”

Read Eamon’s Story

Clinical trials

We can cure cancer, but we can’t do it alone—find out if you or a loved one might qualify for one of our research studies.

Expert advice: A survivor interviews his surgeon

Newscast director Steven Crocker isn’t shy about using humor when he’s advocating for fellow testicular patients and survivors. His Twitter bio proudly proclaims “Abundance of ball and nut jokes because I’m a @testescancer survivor.”

Steven joined oncologist Dr. Clint Cary for our Simon Says Expert Series titled—unsurprisingly—”Keeping Our Eyes on the Ball.”


During the interview, Dr. Cary explained the latest treatment options, including innovative nerve-sparing surgical techniques developed at IU.

Be sure to check out the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation’s new podcast. It’s titled—unsurprisingly—It Takes Balls.

Oncologists at IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center see about 8,000 to 9,000 new cases of testicular cancer each year.

A legacy of discovery

In the early 1970s, John Cleland’s testicular cancer wasn’t responding to treatment. When he was offered  a highly experimental new chemotherapy regimen, he trusted his oncologist enough to accept.

It worked. For the next 47 years, John taught biology, coached athletes, ran marathons, carried an Olympic torch, judged dairy contests, and loved life in Zionsville with his family.

To honor John’s legacy, his oncologist Lawrence Einhorn, MD, and IU Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center established the John Cleland Fellowship Fund to encourage ongoing testis cancer research conducted by IU oncology trainees.

Your gift will help us ensure that this trailblazing hero continues to inspire more generations of hope.

Countless lives have been saved because John was willing to be a test case for my long-shot idea.

Dr. Lawrence Einhorn — Livestrong Foundation Professor of Oncology

The Platinum Study: Finding a better “new normal”

Cisplatin therapy is sometimes referred to as a “marvel.” The American Society of Clinical Oncologists rates it among its top five cancer research breakthroughs.

It’s also the cause of numerous, and sometimes debilitating, side effects. Scientists like Lois Travis, MD, call chemotherapy-related conditions like hearing loss and nerve damage “toxicities.”

Dr. Travis and her mentor Dr. Einhorn hate that word. Their current research, known as The Platinum Study, aims to make it obsolete.

Nearly 2,000 testicular cancer survivors are participating in the study, sharing their health histories and volunteering for in-person testing. By analyzing all that data, Dr. Travis and her colleagues around the world are pinpointing the causes of cisplatin toxicity–and learning how to prevent it.

Platinum Study Meet Dr. Travis

What we learn will help millions of patients around the world.

Lois Travis, MD, ScD — Principal investigator, The Platinum Study

Patrick Monahan, PhD

Using biostatistics and data science to study cancer’s impact on cognitive and mental health

Meet Dr. Monahan

Nabil Adra, MD

Clinical trials to improve the cure rate for relapsed and resistant cancers

Meet Dr. Adra

Tim Masterson, MD

Collaborating with colleagues to develop new medical devices and treatments

Meet Dr. Masterson

Simon Says Expert Series

Our monthly video series brings together cancer center researchers and physicians, patient advocates, and others to talk about various cancer-related topics.

We’ve covered “chemobrain,” fear of cancer recurrence, health disparities, exercise and physical therapy, the emerging field of supportive oncology, and more.

Coming Soon Recorded Sessions


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