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Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Treatment of Malignant Gonadal GCTs

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Treatment options under clinical evaluation for stages I through IV in patients younger than 15 years

The following is an example of a national and/or institutional clinical trial that is currently being conducted. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

  • A United Kingdom CCG trial is studying reducing the total JEB cycles.

Testicular GCTs in adolescents and young adult males

Because the biology of testicular GCTs among adolescents and young adult males is different from that of testicular tumors arising in infants and young boys, the treatment guidelines described above for young boys may not be strictly applicable to adolescent males. In particular, the use of retroperitoneal lymph node dissection may play a crucial role both in early stage testicular GCT [11] and for residual disease after chemotherapy for the treatment of metastatic GCT.[12,13] In this age group, the presence of a sarcomatous component in the primary testis GCT does not alter the prognosis, but if a sarcomatous component is found in a metastatic lesion, survival is likely to be compromised.[14]

(Refer to the PDQ summary on Testicular Cancer Treatment for more information.)

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with childhood malignant testicular germ cell tumor and childhood malignant ovarian germ cell tumor. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

Childhood Malignant Ovarian GCT

Most ovarian neoplasms in children and adolescents are of germ cell origin.[1] Ovarian GCTs are very rare in young girls, but the incidence begins to increase in children aged approximately 8 or 9 years, and continues to rise throughout adulthood.[1] Childhood malignant ovarian GCTs can be divided into dysgerminomas (seminomatous) and nonseminomatous malignant GCTs (i.e., immature teratomas, yolk sac carcinomas, mixed GCTs, choriocarcinoma, and embryonal carcinomas). (For information on childhood mature and immature teratomas arising in the ovary, see the Nonsacrococcygeal Teratomas in Children section of this summary. Refer to the PDQ summary on Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment for more information.)

For stage I ovarian dysgerminomas and immature teratomas, cure can usually be achieved by unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, conserving the uterus and opposite ovary, and close follow-up observation.[10,15,16,17,18] Chemotherapy can be given if tumor markers do not normalize or if tumors recur.

While advanced-stage ovarian dysgerminomas similar to testicular seminomas are highly curable with surgery and radiation therapy, the effects on growth, fertility, and risk of treatment-induced second malignancy in these young patients [19,20] make chemotherapy a more attractive adjunct to surgery.[21,22] Complete tumor resection is the goal for advanced dysgerminomas; platinum-based chemotherapy can be given preoperatively to facilitate resection or postoperatively (after debulking surgery) to avoid mutilating surgical procedures.[18] This approach results in a high rate of cure and the maintenance of menstrual function and fertility in most patients with dysgerminomas.[21,23]

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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