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J Neurosurg Pediatr. 2014 Jul 25:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Atypical location and clinical behavior of a subset of intracranial germ cell tumors in children younger than 3 years of age.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology-Oncology.


The authors describe a series of 15 intracranial germ cell tumors (IGCTs) excluding mature teratomas; 3 cases in children younger than 3 years of age who were treated at 3 different international institutions over the course of 20 years, and 12 from a PubMed search. These tumors, with possible in utero origins, often occur in atypical locations. The clinical behavior differed significantly from these tumors' counterparts in older children. In this young age group germinoma is highly aggressive, whereas nongerminomatous germ cell tumors may be cured without radiotherapy. Ongoing genomic studies reveal insights to attain an understanding of the biology of these tumors. New treatment strategies are needed to improve outcomes for IGCTs in this age group, particularly for germinomas.


AFP = α-fetoprotein; GTR = gross-total resection; IGCT = intracranial germ cell tumor; NGGCT = nongerminomatous germ cell tumor; PLAP = placental alkaline phosphatase; SEER = Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results; VP = ventriculoperitoneal; excluding mature teratoma; infants; intracranial germ cell tumors; oncology; β-HCG= β-human chorionic gonadotropin

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