Pediatric germ cell tumors

Semin Surg Oncol. 1999 Mar;16(2):144-58. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-2388(199903)16:2<144::aid-ssu6>;2-m.


Germ cell tumors are relatively rare tumors in childhood which often present with very large tumors in both gonadal and extragonadal locations. Extragonadal tumors are more common in neonates and infants, whereas gonadal sites predominate in childhood and adolescence. Management consists of surgical resection for localized disease, chemotherapy for residual or metastatic disease, and neoadjuvant chemotherapy and delayed surgical excision for unresectable lesions. The survival for children with germ cell tumors has improved significantly over the past 2 decades with the development of platinum-based chemotherapy. Mature and immature teratomas at any site, and completely resected (Stage I) malignant gonadal and extragonadal tumors, are treated with surgical excision and observation. Malignant lesions with microscopic residual, lymph node disease, or metastatic disease receive platinum-based chemotherapy. Current survival for low-stage (Stages I and II) gonadal sites approaches 100% and survival for higher stage (Stages III and IV) gonadal sites is approximately 95%. Survival for extragonadal lesions is approximately 90% for Stages I and II and 75% for Stages III and IV.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Germinoma / classification
  • Germinoma / diagnosis
  • Germinoma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers, Tumor