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Cancer Health Center

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Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Genital / Urinary Tumors



There are conflicting data about malignant potential in older males. Most case reports suggest that in the pediatric patients, these tumors can be treated with surgery alone.[19][Level of evidence: 3iii]; [22][Level of evidence: 3iiiA]; [21][Level of evidence: 3iiiDii] In a retrospective study, 42 patients with sex cord-stromal tumors were identified. All tumors were confined to the testes. They were treated with surgery alone, according to specific germ cell tumor guidelines. There were no recurrences.[18][Level of evidence: 3iiiA] However, given the rarity of this tumor, the surgical approach in pediatrics has not been well defined.

Ovarian Cancer (Non-Germ Cell)

The majority of ovarian masses in children are not malignant.

The most common neoplasms are germ cell tumors, followed by epithelial tumors, stromal tumors, and then miscellaneous tumors such as Burkitt lymphoma.[23,24,25,26] The majority of malignant ovarian tumors occur in girls aged 15 to 19 years.[27]

Epithelial ovarian neoplasia

Ovarian tumors derived from malignant epithelial elements include: adenocarcinomas, cystadenocarcinomas, endometrioid tumors, clear cell tumors, and undifferentiated carcinomas.[28] In one series of 19 patients younger than 21 years with epithelial ovarian neoplasms, the average age at diagnosis was 19.7 years. Dysmenorrhea and abdominal pain were the most common presenting symptoms; 79% of the patients had stage I disease with a 100% survival rate, and only those who had small cell anaplastic carcinoma died.

Girls with ovarian carcinoma (epithelial ovarian neoplasia) fare better than adults with similar histology, probably because girls usually present with low-stage disease.[29]

Treatment is stage-related and may include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy with cisplatin, carboplatin, etoposide, topotecan, paclitaxel, and other agents.

Ovarian surface epithelial neoplasms comprise a small subset of ovarian epithelial neoplasms; in children, most of the cases are of serous or mucinous histology and have a low malignant potential. Surgery and chemotherapy have been used to treat ovarian surface epithelial neoplasms.[30]

Sex cord-stromal tumors

Ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors are a heterogeneous group of rare tumors that derive from the gonadal non-germ cell component.[31] Histologic subtypes display some areas of gonadal differentiation and include juvenile granulosa cell tumors, Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors, and sclerosing stromal tumors. Ovarian sex-cord stromal tumors in children and adolescents are commonly associated with the presence of germline DICER1 mutations and may be a manifestation of the familial pleuropulmonary blastoma syndrome.[32]

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