Reprint of: somatic-type malignancies in testicular germ cell tumors

Hum Pathol. 2023 Mar:133:102-114. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2023.02.008. Epub 2023 Mar 6.


The development of somatic-type malignancy (SM) in testicular germ cell tumor represents a major challenge in the diagnosis and treatment of testicular cancer. Most SMs are derived from teratoma, and the remainder is associated with yolk sac tumor. They occur more frequently in metastases than in primary testicular tumors. SMs demonstrate a variety of histologic types, including sarcoma, carcinoma, embryonic-type neuroectodermal tumor, nephroblastoma-like tumor, and hematologic malignancy. Sarcoma, particularly rhabdomyosarcoma, accounts for the majority of SMs in the primary testicular tumors, whereas carcinoma, particularly adenocarcinoma, is the most common SM in metastases. Although SMs derived from testicular germ cell tumors mimic their histologic counterparts in other organs with overlapping immunohistochemical profiles, isochromosome 12p is present in most SMs, which can be useful in the differential diagnosis. The presence of SM in the primary testicular tumor may not worsen the outcome, but the development of SM in metastasis is associated with a poor prognosis. Furthermore, somatic-type carcinoma is likely associated with a worse prognosis than somatic-type sarcoma. Although SMs respond poorly to the cisplatin-based chemotherapy, timely surgical resection is an effective treatment for most patients.

Keywords: Carcinoma; Germ cell tumor; Sarcoma; Somatic-type malignancy; Teratoma; Testis; Yolk sac tumor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal* / therapy
  • Sarcoma* / pathology
  • Teratoma* / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms* / pathology

Supplementary concepts

  • Testicular Germ Cell Tumor