Germ Cell Tumors in Adolescents and Young Adults

J Oncol Pract. 2019 Aug;15(8):433-441. doi: 10.1200/JOP.19.00190.


Germ cell tumors (GCTs) are rare in childhood, representing only 3.5% of childhood cancers, but a common malignancy in adolescents and young adults (AYAs), accounting for 13.9% of neoplasms in adolescents between age 15 and 19 years. The overall outcomes of patients treated for GCTs are excellent. However, as seen in other cancers, outcomes for AYA patients are significantly worse. Understanding the reasons for this observation has led to different approaches to diagnosis, staging, and treatment. The Malignant Germ Cell International Consortium was created to bring together pediatric, gynecologic, and testicular cancer specialists to promote research initiatives and provide evidence-based approaches in the management of GCTs across different age groups. Collaboration between multiple subspecialties is essential to further understand the disease continuum, the underlying biologic characteristics, and the development of appropriate therapeutic approaches. This review focuses on the unique characteristics of patients with extracranial GCTs in the AYA group.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology
  • Young Adult