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Nat Rev Cancer. 2011 Apr;11(4):278-88. doi: 10.1038/nrc3021. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Testicular germ cell tumours: predisposition genes and the male germ cell niche.

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  • 1Sussex Cancer Centre, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton BN2 5BE, East Sussex, UK.


Testicular germ cell tumours (TGCTs) of adults and adolescents are putatively derived from primordial germ cells or gonocytes. Recently reported genome-wide association studies implicate six gene loci that predispose to TGCT development. Remarkably, the functions of proteins encoded by genes within these regions bridge our understanding between the pathways involved in primordial germ cell physiology, male germ cell development and the molecular pathology of TGCTs. Furthermore, this improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying TGCT development and dissemination has clinical relevance for the management of patients with these tumours.

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