Endodermal sinus tumor: A clinical and pathological correlation

Margaret M. Olsen, John G. Raffensperger*, Frank Gonzalez-Crussi, Susan R. Luck, William E. Kaplan, Elaine R. Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Endodermal sinus tumors occur in the gonads and in a variety of extragondal locations, particularly as the malignant component of sacral teratomas. Light and electron microscopic studies as well as the presence of alpha fetoprotein support the concept that these lesions arise from germ cells that migrate from the extraembryonic yolk sac. These tumors in all locations are highly malignant and metastasize to lymph nodes, lung, liver and bone. Peritoneal implants are seen from tumors in the ovary, testis, and following ventriculoperitoneal shunts for yolk sac tumors of the pineal gland. There is no satisfactory therapy for the endodermal sinus tumor, regardless of location, when there are distant metastases at the time of diagnosis; however, we have documented complete regression of metastases in one child following therapy with vinblastine, bleomycin, and cis-platinum. Nine of 13 boys with endodermal sinus tumors of the testis survived in this series of patients. All survivors were treated with orchiectomy and lymph node excision. Surgical excision combined with chemotherapy and radiation led to survivors in children with large extragondal pelvic and retroperitoneal tumors. We recommend vigorous multimodal therapy with surgery and chemotherapy. Radiation is given to the primary lesion when it is too extensive for initial resection or to eradicate residual disease following chemotherapy. Alpha fetoprotein is a valuable tumor marker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-840
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1982


  • Endodermal sinus tumor
  • yolk sac tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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