Extraneural recurrence of an intracranial nongerminomatous germ cell tumor to cervical lymph nodes in a pediatric patient: Case report

Cancer Rep (Hoboken). 2022 Aug;5(8):e1586. doi: 10.1002/cnr2.1586. Epub 2021 Nov 18.


Background: Intracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs) comprise 3%-5% of pediatric primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors in Western countries. Though they are related in embryonic origin to gonadal GCTs, which are considered highly treatable with cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens, intracranial GCTs vary in malignant potential and sensitivity to radiation and chemotherapy, generally carrying a worse prognosis. Metastases of intracranial GCTs outside of the CNS are rare, indicate a poor prognosis, and their salvage treatment is not well established.

Case: A 15-year-old boy presented with bifocal (suprasellar and pineal) intracranial nongerminomatous germ cell tumors of mixed origin. The tumors were treated to full response with a multimodal approach of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, surgical resection, and adjuvant craniospinal proton radiation. Nine months following treatment completion, the patient presented with an enlarged cervical lymph node determined on excisional biopsy to be a recurrence of pure germinoma from the primary tumors. Salvage treatment involved high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation; however, the patient denied further treatment prior to planned focal radiotherapy. Thirty months post-treatment, the patient is well with no evidence of recurrence.

Conclusion: This case demonstrated the successful salvage treatment of an extraneural recurrence of an intracranial GCT using surgical resection and a high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem-cell transplantation regimen, highlighting the unique factors which led to the selection of this regimen.

Keywords: germ cell tumor; high-dose chemotherapy; salvage therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Child
  • Germinoma* / drug therapy
  • Germinoma* / pathology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / therapy
  • Transplantation, Autologous