Long-term outcome for infants and children with sacrococcygeal teratoma: a report from the Childrens Cancer Group

J Pediatr Surg. 1998 Feb;33(2):171-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(98)90426-2.


Background/purpose: Sacrococcygeal teratomas (SCT) are a relatively uncommon tumor affecting neonates, infants, and children. This study was designed to determine the effect of therapy on the long-term outcome of neonates and children with sacrococcygeal teratomas (SCT).

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective review of children with SCT treated at 15 Childrens Cancer Group institutions from 1972 to 1994.

Results: One hundred twenty-six children presented with SCT diagnosed prenatally (n = 32), at birth (n = 79), or later in infancy (n = 15). For neonates, complete resection was performed except in two babies with lethal associated defects. All others (n = 15) underwent resection at the age of diagnosis. Six had a sacral mass identified at birth but had delayed surgery (1.5 to 11 months) and of these, two were malignant. Resection was via sacral (n = 96) or abdominosacral (n = 28) approach. Histology showed mature teratoma (MT, 69%), immature teratoma (IT, 20%), or endodermal sinus tumor (EST, 11%) at presentation. Seven neonates (5.6%) died of perioperative complications, whereas the remaining 117 were available for long-term follow-up. Between 6 and 34 months postresection, recurrent disease developed in 9 of 80 MT patients (11%) followed-up for a mean of 5 years. Recurrent disease was MT (n = 2) and EST (n = 7). The recurrent EST patients were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Six are alive with mean follow-up of 114 months, whereas one with metastatic disease was lost to follow-up. Recurrence (MT) developed in only 1 of 24 IT patients, and all are alive and well at mean follow-up of 39 months. Patients presenting with EST (n = 13) underwent excision, with two dying from non-EST causes. Six EST patients received no chemotherapy, with two of the six (33%) experiencing recurrence within 11 months and both disease free after salvage chemotherapy. The remaining five EST patients received adjuvant chemotherapy; four are alive and one died of metastatic disease. Of the 18 EST patients followed-up after resection (presentation, 11, recurrent teratoma, 7), 16 (89%) are free of disease with a mean follow-up of 91 months.

Conclusions: (1) Benign teratomas have a significant recurrence rate mandating close follow-up for more than 3 years. (2) Surgical resection alone is adequate therapy for nonmetastatic malignant tumors. (3) Survival for malignant lesions with metastases is excellent with modern chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Coccyx*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Endodermal Sinus Tumor / epidemiology*
  • Endodermal Sinus Tumor / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacrum*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Spinal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Survival Rate
  • Teratoma / epidemiology*
  • Teratoma / therapy
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome