Pediatric germ cell tumors: Protocol update for pathologists

Elizabeth J. Perlman*, Edith P. Hawkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The therapy for pediatric germ cell tumors has historically been widely variable and institution dependent. The efforts to provide consistent, biology-driven therapy through Intergroup protocols has been a relatively recent phenomenon that has provided the framework for future protocol designs. The first Intergroup protocols confirmed that stage I malignant testicular germ cell tumors and immature teratomas at all sites in children could be treated with surgery alone followed by close observation. Future protocols currently in the planning stages may extend this low-risk category to stage I ovarian germ cell tumors of all histologic types. Low-stage extragonadal germ cell tumors may be placed in a new intermediate risk category. Particular pathologic issues that were raised and reported during the first protocols and that may impact on future protocol design include the presence and size of foci of endodermal sinus tumors within low-stage immature teratomas at all sites. Accurate staging will grow more critical in future protocols. The ability to recruit international cooperative groups will determine the success of chemotherapy tailored to specific subgroups that now must be lumped for statistical purposes. Lastly, companion biologic studies will be critical to defining the different subtypes of germ cell tumors and to determining predictors of biologic behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-335
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric and Developmental Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998


  • Endodermal sinus tumor
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • Teratoma
  • Testicular neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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