Primary intracranial germ cell tumors: clinicopathologic review of 32 cases

Pediatr Pathol Lab Med. 1997 Sep-Oct;17(5):713-27.


Primary intracranial germ cell neoplasms are rare tumors and constitute a heterogeneous group. We have reviewed 32 cases, over a 21-year period, from the University of Florida. The cases include 22 germinomas, 6 mixed germ cell tumors, and 4 teratomas. The clinical presentations in these cases were more closely related to the location of the tumor, that is, pineal or suprasellar, rather than the histologic subtype. Neuroimaging evaluation was useful in distinguishing between germinomas, teratomas, and other mixed germ cell tumors (MGCTs), primarily by evaluation of cystic versus solid lesions (teratoma versus germinoma), contents of cysts (teratoma versus MGCT), and infiltrative nature of the tumors (MGCT), although cytologic-histopathologic confirmation remains necessary. Germinomas responded favorably to radiation therapy with survival periods of over 16 years; MGCTs were treated with combination chemotherapy and radiation, with a markedly poorer prognosis. This study underlines the critical significance of histopathologic evaluation of the tumor in determining therapeutic interventions as well as prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / mortality
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / therapy
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Germinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Germinoma / mortality
  • Germinoma / pathology*
  • Germinoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Teratoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Teratoma / mortality
  • Teratoma / pathology*
  • Teratoma / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed