Surgical management and outcomes for stage 1 malignant ovarian germ cell tumours: A UK multicentre retrospective cohort study

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2022 Apr:271:138-144. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2022.02.013. Epub 2022 Feb 16.


Objective: To describe the current surgical management of stage 1 malignant ovarian germ cell tumours and correlated oncological outcomes.

Study design: We undertook a retrospective study of all stage 1 primary ovarian germ cell tumours treated in four major UK gynaecology oncology centres over 12 years. We assessed route of surgery, fertility-sparing approaches, ovarian cystectomy alone, and surgical staging and correlated these with clinical outcomes.

Results: Eighty-six patients were followed-up for a median of 4.4 years (IQR 4.3). The median age was 26 (range 11-47). There were 24 (27.9%) dysgerminomas, 13 (15.1%) yolk sac tumours, 10 (11.3%) mixed germ cell tumours, and 39 (45.3%) immature teratomas. Overall survival was 96.6% (OS, 95% CI 91.9-100%), with event free survival of 81.8% (EFS, 95% CI 72.5-92.3) at 5 years. The majority had fertility-sparing surgery (93%, n = 80). In a subset of patients with immature teratoma, there was no significant difference in recurrence or survival if patients underwent unilateral cystectomy only or salpingo-oophorectomy. Laparotomy was the most common approach (n = 66, 76.7%), used more frequently for larger tumours > 10 cm. Surgical staging procedures were undertaken in 42 (48.6%) patients with no significant difference in rates of staging across histological subtypes. Peritoneal biopsies were taken in 11 (12.7%), omental assessment in 40 (46.5%) and lymphadenectomy in 10 (11.6%). There was no significant difference in EFS between patients who underwent staging procedures (83%, CI 71-98%) versus those that did not (84%, CI 72-98%). There was no significant difference in the rate of staging procedures in paediatric (42.1% 8/19) and adult (57.9% 34/67) populations.

Conclusions: Across all histologies and ages, the absence of surgical staging did not impact upon disease free or overall survival in this cohort. This study also raises the possibility of a role for ovarian cystectomy in immature teratoma. These findings warrant investigation in larger prospective studies.

Keywords: Germ cell tumour; Ovary; Surgery.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / surgery
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology