Malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary. Pregnancy considerations

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2000 May;90(1):87-91. doi: 10.1016/s0301-2115(99)00213-4.


Objective: To study the pregnancy association and malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary with regard to its effects on tumor prognosis.

Study design: : Seventy-five patients with malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary treated at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital-Research Center (KFSH-RC) Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between January 1976 and December 1992, were reviewed. Data was retrieved from the medical records and the database of ovarian tumor pathology. Patients with tumor/pregnancy association were identified and correlation with obstetrical outcome and tumor prognosis analyzed. Patients who conceived after treatment were identified and their reproductive outcome described.

Results: Malignant germ cell tumor was associated with pregnancy in a group of ten patients. Possible tumor effects upon pregnancy in this group included operative delivery by caesarean section (n=3), mid-trimester termination (n=2), spontaneous abortion (n=1). Four patients had normal vaginal birth with no apparent tumor effects upon pregnancy. Pregnancy did not seem to influence the tumor prognosis of pure dysgerminoma (n=6), however, two patients with non-dysgerminomatous germ cell tumor (one endodermal sinus tumor and one immature teratoma) died of rapidly progressive disease during the second trimester. Two patients with advanced (stage IIIC) disease concurrent with pregnancy (one pure dysgerminoma and one mixed germ cell tumor), had normal fetal outcomes and achieved long-term survival. Amongst the 22 patients who planned to conceive after conservative surgery, with or without post-operative adjuvant chemotherapy, 12 conceived (12/22) and achieved a total of 20 pregnancies. Their outcomes included normal births (n=18) including one set of twins and hydatidiform moles (n=2).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that, (1) The association of pure dysgerminoma and pregnancy did not adversely affect the tumor prognosis or fetal outcome. However, the question remains as to whether pregnancy worsened the prognosis of non-dysgerminomatous germ cell tumors. (2) Recent platinum-based regimens of multiagent chemotherapy for germ cell tumors did not seem to affect fertility potential.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Germinoma / pathology*
  • Germinoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / therapy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Reproductive History