PURPOSE OF REVIEW - We review current management strategies for patients with relapsed and refractory germ cell tumors (GCTs), defined as relapsed or persistent disease following at least one line of cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Additionally, we discuss future directions in the management of these patients.
RECENT FINDINGS - Recent studies involving targeted therapies have been disappointing. Nevertheless, studies of the management of refractory germ cell cancer are ongoing, with a focus on optimal utilization of high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant, as well as the role of immune checkpoint inhibitors in refractory germ cell tumors. Studies aiming to identify those patients who may benefit from more intensive treatment up front to prevent the development of refractory disease are also in progress. Testicular germ cell tumors are among the most curable of all solid tumor malignancies, with cure being possible even in the refractory, metastatic setting. Treatment of refractory disease remains a challenging clinical scenario, but potentially practice changing studies are ongoing.