Objective: To evaluate 30-year, population-based trends in incidence and survival rates for malignant germ cell tumors originating within the female genital tract.
Methods: Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data were used to identify malignant germ cell tumors (1973-2002). Overall and 5-year incidence rates, estimated annual percentage change, and survival rates were calculated and compared by age at diagnosis, race, stage, and histology.
Results: Of 1,262 cases, there were 414 (32.8%) dysgerminomas, 449 (35.6%) immature teratomas, 37 (2.9%) mature teratomas with malignant degeneration, and 362 (28.7%) mixed germ cell tumors. The 30-year, age-adjusted incidence rate per 100,000 women-years was 0.338, decreasing by 29.4% for dysgerminomas (P = .18) and by 31.5% for mixed germ cell tumors (P = .22). Other nonwhites had higher rates than whites and blacks, but dysgerminoma rates were higher in whites and other nonwhites than in blacks. Using the registries for expanded races, rates were higher for Asian/Pacific Islanders (P = .059) and Hispanics (P = .07). By age at diagnosis, 15-19 year olds had the highest rates and the only significant change in rates (37.5% increase, P = .008). The 5-year relative survival was 83.9%. Survival rates improved significantly over calendar time and varied by histologic subtype, race, stage of disease, and age at diagnosis.
Conclusion: Over the past 30 years, germ cell tumor incidence rates have declined in women and differ from rising trends reported for testicular tumors. Survival rates have improved but were lower for older women and for nondysgerminoma subtypes.