Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors

Childhood extracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs) form from germ cells in parts of the body other than the brain. A germ cell is a type of cell that forms as a fetus develops and later becomes sperm in the testicles or eggs in the ovaries. Sometimes while the fetus is forming, germ cells travel to parts of the body where they should not be and grow into a germ cell tumor that may form before or after birth.

Childhood GCTs may be benign or malignant. Extracranial GCTs are grouped into mature teratomas, immature teratomas, and malignant germ cell tumors.

Extracranial GCTs, particularly testicular GCTs, are much more common among adolescents ages 15 to 19, representing approximately 14 percent of cancers in this age group, according to federal estimates.

Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)

Source: National Cancer Institute