Research into testicular cancer

Researchers around the world are looking at better ways to treat testicular cancer. And they want to find out more about the causes. 

Go to Cancer Research UK’s clinical trials database if you are looking for a trial for testicular cancer in the UK. You need to talk to your specialist if there are any trials that you think you might be able to take part in.

Some of the trials on this page have now stopped recruiting people. It takes time before the results are available. This is because the trial team follow the patients for a period of time and collect and analyse the results. We have included this ongoing research to give examples of the type of research being carried out in testicular cancer.

Research and clinical trials

All cancer treatments must be fully researched before they can be used for everyone. This is so we can be sure that:

  • they work
  • they work better than the treatments already available
  • they are safe

Research into the causes of testicular cancer

Genes

Researchers want to identify genes Open a glossary item that could increase the risk of testicular cancer. They are looking at the genes of men who have had testicular cancer. They also want to find out more about their family history and their parents' genes.

Biomarkers

Biomarkers are substances that doctors can measure in the body. They help doctors find out how cancer is developing and how well treatment is working. 

Researchers are looking for biomarkers for testicular cancer. They want to:

  • learn more about the causes of cancer
  • develop better tests and treatments 

Research into the treatment of testicular cancer

Researchers are looking at ways of improving testicular cancer treatment. This includes trials looking at:

  • the timing of chemotherapy 
  • different doses of chemotherapy
  • different drug combinations

Chemotherapy timing

A common chemotherapy treatment for testicular cancer is BEP (bleomycin, etoposide and cisplatin). You usually have this every 3 weeks. Doctors think you might be able to have chemotherapy more often. They want to find out if you can have BEP every 2 weeks. 

High dose chemotherapy

If your cancer comes back or gets worse after your first treatment, your doctor might suggest:

  • standard dose chemotherapy
  • high dose chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant

Doctors aren’t sure which treatment works best. So there is a clinical trial comparing these treatments. 

Chemotherapy drugs

You usually have more chemotherapy if your cancer comes back. Researchers are looking at different combinations of chemotherapy drugs. They want to find out which combination works better and has fewer side effects.

Research into follow up after testicular cancer treatment

CT scans after treatment

Treatment cures many people with testicular cancer. But cancer comes back (recurs) in a small number of people after their first treatment.

If the testicular cancer comes back, it is still possible to treat and cure it. But the chances of a cure are better if it is found as early as possible. Doctors think that occasional CT scans may be helpful.

Researchers are following people who had testicular cancer treatment over 5 years ago. They want to find out:

  • how often cancer comes back
  • if CT scans pick up recurrent cancers earlier than normal follow up appointments
Last reviewed: 
05 Jan 2022
Next review due: 
05 Jan 2025
  • Meta-analysis of five genome-wide association studies identifies multiple new loci associated with testicular germ cell tumor
    Z Wang and others
    Nature Genetics, 2017, 49 pages 1141 - 1147

  • Cancer Research UK Clinical Trals Database
    Accessed December, 2021

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