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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2002 Nov;144(11):1151-4; discussion 1154-5.

Long-term outcome of intracranial germinoma with hCG elevation in cerebrospinal fluid but not in serum.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan.



Pure germinomas have a good prognosis compared to those with syncytiotrophoblastic giant cells (STGCs), which show elevated human chorionic gonadotropin or human chorionic gonadotropin-beta (hCG/hCG-beta) levels and relapse frequently. However, the long-term outcome of patients with germinoma and detectable hCG/hCG-beta in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) but not in serum is unclear.


The outcome of patients with pure germinomas (no increase in hCG/hCG-beta in serum or CSF, 13 cases; group A), germinomas with STGC (increased hCG/hCG-beta in serum, 13 cases; group B) and germinomas with increased hCG/hCG-beta only in CSF (6 cases; group C) was analyzed.


All three groups received similar radiotherapy. Groups A and C each showed a 10-year survival rate of 100%, while this was only 69.2% in group B. The 10-year relapse-free survival rates were 92.3%, 69.2% and 83.3% (groups A, B and C, respectively). Groups A and C each had one case of tumor relapse, but there was no recurrence simply by the application of radiotherapy. On the other hand, in group B, tumor relapse was seen in 4/13 (30.8%) cases. Three of them showed relapse within the region of the initial radiation exposure and died despite all available treatment.


Patients with an increased hCG/hCG-beta level in CSF may be considered to be similar to pure germinomas and should be treated and followed-up carefully.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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