Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information About Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors (GCTs)

continued...

GCTs arise from primordial germ cells, which migrate during embryogenesis from the yolk sac through the mesentery to the gonads.[3,4] Childhood extracranial GCTs can be divided into the following two types:

  • Gonadal.
  • Extragonadal.

Most childhood extragonadal GCTs arise in midline sites (i.e., sacrococcygeal, mediastinal, and retroperitoneal); the midline location may represent aberrant embryonic migration of the primordial germ cells.

Childhood extracranial GCTs are broadly classified as the following:

  • Mature teratomas.
  • Immature teratomas.
  • Malignant GCTs.

GCTs comprise a variety of histologic diagnoses and can also be divided into the following histologic types:

  • Germinoma.
    • Germinoma.
    • Dysgerminoma (ovary).
    • Seminoma (testis).
  • Nongerminoma.
    • Teratomas (mature and immature).
    • Yolk sac tumor (endodermal sinus tumor).
    • Choriocarcinoma.
    • Embryonal carcinoma.
    • Gonadoblastoma.
    • Mixed GCT (contains more than one of the histologies above).

(Refer to the PDQ summary on Childhood Central Nervous System Germ Cell Tumors Treatment for information about the treatment of intracranial germ cell tumors.)

Incidence

Childhood GCTs are rare in children younger than 15 years, accounting for approximately 3% of cancers in this age group.[5,6,7] In the fetal/neonatal age group, most extracranial GCTs are benign teratomas occurring at midline locations, including sacrococcygeal, retroperitoneal, mediastinal, and cervical regions. Despite the small percentage of malignant teratomas that occur in this age group, perinatal tumors have a high morbidity rate caused by hydrops fetalis and premature delivery.[8,9]

Extracranial GCTs (particularly testicular GCTs) are much more common among adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, representing approximately 14% of cancers in this age group.

The incidence of extracranial GCTs by 5-year age group and gender is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Incidence of Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors by Age Group and Gender (per 106 population)a

0-4 years 5-9 years 10-14 years 15-19 years
a Rates are per 1 million children from 1986 to 1995 for the nine Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results regions plus Los Angeles.
Males 7 0.3 1.4 31
Females 5.8 2.4 7.8 25.3

Histologic Classification of Childhood Extracranial GCTs

Childhood extracranial GCTs comprise a variety of histologic diagnoses and can be broadly classified as the following:

  • Mature teratomas.
  • Immature teratomas.
  • Malignant GCTs.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
 
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
Blog
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
colorectal cancer treatment advances
Video
breast cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
prostate cancer overview
SLIDESHOW
lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Actor Michael Douglas
Article