Ovarian germ cell tumors in children: a clinical study of 66 patients

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2006 Apr;46(4):459-64. doi: 10.1002/pbc.20633.


Background: Ovarian germ cell tumors are rare in childhood. The aim of this study is to review clinical presentation, management, and outcome in a two-center series of girls with ovarian germ cell tumor.

Procedure: The records of 66 patients (median age 9 years) with histologically proven ovarian germ cell tumor (either benign or malignant), treated over a 44-year-span, were reviewed.

Results: Pain and an abdominal mass were the most frequent symptoms. The tumors were right-sided in 35, left-sided in 28, and bilateral in 3. Most patients (52) were stage I, 4 were stage II, 6 stage III, and 1, with liver metastases, stage IV. Sixteen patients had an emergency operation for tumor torsion. Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy was the most frequently performed procedure (n = 46), and ovarian-sparing tumorectomy was performed in 9 patients (one bilaterally). Histologically, teratomas were found most frequently (mature: 45, immature: 9), followed by mixed tumors (n = 7), yolk sac tumors (n = 3), dysgerminoma (n = 2), gonadoblastoma (n = 2), and embryonal carcinoma (n = 1). Surgical removal of the tumor with or without the ovary and/or adnex was the sole treatment in 55 patients, chemotherapy was administered in 10 and radiotherapy + chemotherapy in one. Intra-operative spillage of tumoral fluid occurred in six; this did not influence outcome in five. Recurrence was observed in three patients. Two patients, with malignant disease, died. The 64 survivors are now between 8 months and 44 years after treatment.

Conclusions: With a recurrence rate of 4.5% and a mortality rate of 3%, this series confirms the excellent prognosis for girls with ovarian germ cell tumor (GCT).

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / classification
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / classification
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome