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, , , | ICD9 = , , , | ICDO = 9060-9100 | Image = | Caption = | OMIM = | OMIM_mult = | MedlinePlus = | eMedicineSubj = med | eMedicineTopic = 863 | DiseasesDB = |Germ cell tumor (GCT) is a tumor (neoplasm) derived from germ cells. (Germ cells themselves are not pathogenic; i.e., they are not the viral and bacterial "germs" that cause illness.) Germ cell tumors can occur both inside and outside of the gonads (ovary and testis).
Etiology Some investigators suggest that this distribution arises as a consequence of abnormal migration of germ cells during embryogenesis. Others hypothesize a widespread distribution of germ cells to multiple sites during normal embryogenesis, with these cells conveying genetic information or providing regulatory functions at somatic sites.Extragonadal germ cell tumors were thought initially to be isolated metastases from an undetected primary tumor in a gonad, but it is now known that many germ cell tumors are congenital and originate outside the gonads. The most notable of these is sacrococcygeal teratoma, the single most common tumor diagnosed in babies at birth.
Classification Germ cell tumors are classified by their histology, free full text regardless of location in the body.Germ cell tumors are broadly divided in two classes:
Location Despite their name, germ cell tumors occur both within and outside the ovary and testis.
Prognosis The 1997 International Germ Cell Consensus ClassificationInternational Germ Cell Consensus Classification: a prognostic factor-based staging system for metastatic germ cell cancers. International Germ Cell Cancer Collaborative Group. J Clin Oncol. 1997 Feb;15(2):594-603 PubMed abstract is a tool for estimating the risk of relapse after treatment of malignant germ cell tumor.A small study of ovarian tumors in girls reports a correlation between cystic and benign tumors and, conversely, solid and malignant tumors. Because the cystic extent of a tumor can be estimated by ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan before surgery, this permits selection of the most appropriate surgical plan to minimize risk of spillage of a malignant tumor.
Research Germ cell tumors of children are the subject of clinical research by the worldwide Children's Oncology Group (COG), in a number of studies coordinated by Dr. John Cullen, MD.CureSearch.org press release re Germ Cell CancerIntracranial Germ Cell Tumors have been studied through the International CNS GCT Study Group. Under the direction of Jonathan Finlay, the program director, three international treatment studies have been initiated since 1990 with the goal to maintain a high rate of cure while minimizing the late effects of treatment.
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