Ovarian granulosa cell tumors: a retrospective study of 27 cases and a review of the literature

World J Surg Oncol. 2013 Jun 18;11:142. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-11-142.


Background: Granulosa tumors were described for the first time in 1855 by Rokitansky. These tumors are malignancies with a relatively favorable prognosis. They are characterized by a prolonged natural history and a tendency to late recurrences. The aim of this study is to investigate the epidemiological and pathological characteristics of granulosa cell tumors and to investigate the prognosis factor for recurrences.

Methods: The clinical data of patients who were treated in the period from January 2003 to December 2010 at the National Institute of Oncology in Rabat, Morocco for adult granulosa cell tumors of the ovary were investigated retrospectively. Data for age, clinical manifestation, imaging, diagnosis and treatment of the patients were reviewed and analyzed. Post-operative histology was obtained for all patients.

Results: Twenty-seven cases were retrieved. The median patient age was 53 years. The most common clinical manifestations at diagnosis were abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding. Mean tumor size was 14 cm. The majority of patients had stage I (63%, n = 17), while (18,5%, n = 5) had stage III, (7.4%, n = 2) had stage IV, and (11%, n = 3) of patients had an unknown stage. In the follow-up period (median = 63.44 months), five (18.51%) patients relapsed. The median time to relapse was 41.8 months, (range: 18 to 62 months).

Conclusions: Granulosa cell tumor of the ovary is an uncommon neoplasm. The adult form progresses slowly and often is diagnosed in an early stage of disease. Surgery is indicated. A prolonged post-therapeutic follow-up is necessary because of the risk of recurrences, late and exceptional for the adult form.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / epidemiology
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / mortality*
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / pathology
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morocco / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate