Feto-maternal outcomes of pregnancy complicated by ovarian malignant germ cell tumor: a systematic review of literature

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2014 Oct;181:145-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2014.07.047. Epub 2014 Aug 7.


Malignant germ cell tumors (MGCT) are a rare type of ovarian cancer with poorly understood behavior during pregnancy. This systematic review evaluated feto-maternal outcomes and management patterns of 102 ovarian MGCT-complicated pregnancies identified in PubMed/MEDLINE. Mean age was 25.8. The most common histology type was dysgerminoma (38.2%) followed by yolk sac tumor (30.4%). Abdomino-pelvic pain (35.3%) was the most common symptom. The majority were stage I disease (76.4%) with a mean tumor size of 17.9cm. Most cases had live births (77.5%) at term (56.6%). Tumor surgery without fetal conservation took place in 22 (21.6%) cases (Group 1). This group was characterized by the first trimester tumor detection and intervention, non-viable pregnancy, and frequent concurrent hysterectomy. There were 59 (57.8%) cases which underwent expectant management of pregnancy: mean delay 16.4 weeks for 46 (45.1%) cases with tumor surgery and fetal conservation (Group 2); and 7.8 weeks for 13 (12.7%) cases with tumor surgery after delivery (Group 3). The live birth rate in Groups 2 and 3 was 98.3%. There were 21 (20.6%) cases in which the tumor was incidentally found intra/postpartum (Group 4). Group 2 showed the highest 5-year overall survival rate (92.8%) followed by Group 4 (79.5%), Group 3 (71.4%), and Group 1 (56.2%, p=0.028). Group 1 had more advanced-stage disease when compared to Group 2 (proportion of stages II-IV disease, 36.4% versus 11.4%, p=0.023). In multivariate analysis, age ≤20 (p=0.032) and stages II-IV (p=0.02) remained independent prognosticators for decreased overall survival in all cases. Expectant management of pregnancy was not associated with poor survival outcome in multivariate analysis (p=0.43). In conclusion, our analysis demonstrated that timing of tumor intervention and delivery significantly impacted feto-maternal outcome of ovarian MGCT-complicated pregnancies. It is suggested that early detection and tumor intervention with expectant management of pregnancy is an acceptable option in early-stage ovarian MGCT-complicated pregnancies.

Keywords: Malignant germ cell tumor; Ovarian cancer; Pregnancy; Review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / complications
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / surgery*
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Survival Rate
  • Time-to-Treatment
  • Watchful Waiting