Background: The goal, methods, and results of surgery for growing teratoma syndrome (GTS) in men after testicular cancer have been well described. The main surgical challenge relates to the need for vascular or thoracic procedures. But little is known about GTS in women, particularly regarding the optimal management of intraabdominal disease. This study aimed to evaluate the surgical management and outcomes (recurrences and fertility) for a large series of ovarian GTS.
Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed patients treated for an ovarian immature teratoma (IT) who subsequently experienced abdominal GTS requiring surgery.
Results: Between 1983 and 2014, 196 cases of IT were referred to the authors' institution or treated there, and 38 patients (19 %) subsequently experienced a GTS, including 10 cases of gliomatosis peritonei (containing exclusively pure mature glial tissue). The median age at diagnosis was 26 years (range 8-41 years), and the mean delay between IT and GTS diagnosis was 7 months (range 3-84 months). Surgical resection included peritonectomy (n = 22), diaphragmatic peritoneal resection (n = 14), bowel resection (n = 8), and splenectomy (n = 5). Conservative surgery was possible for 20 patients. Complete cytoreductive surgery was achieved for 25 patients. The mean follow-up period was 73 months (range 3-263 months). At least one recurrence developed for 10 patients (in the form of mature disease in all, and 8 of these patients had an initial complete resection. Five patients had a pregnancy. One patient died of complications from the disease (pulmonary embolism in a patient with bowel obstruction).
Conclusions: The overall prognosis of abdominal GTS is good. The surgical procedures for GTS are similar to those used in debulking surgery for epithelial cancer. Whenever technically possible, a conservative surgery should be performed because spontaneous fertility is possible. Recurrent GTS is frequent even after complete surgery.