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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2006 Apr;46(4):459-64.

Ovarian germ cell tumors in children: a clinical study of 66 patients.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Academic Hospital, Free University of Brussels, Brussels, Belgium.



Ovarian germ cell tumors are rare in childhood. The aim of this study is to review clinical presentation, management, and outcome in a two-center series of girls with ovarian germ cell tumor.


The records of 66 patients (median age 9 years) with histologically proven ovarian germ cell tumor (either benign or malignant), treated over a 44-year-span, were reviewed.


Pain and an abdominal mass were the most frequent symptoms. The tumors were right-sided in 35, left-sided in 28, and bilateral in 3. Most patients (52) were stage I, 4 were stage II, 6 stage III, and 1, with liver metastases, stage IV. Sixteen patients had an emergency operation for tumor torsion. Unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy was the most frequently performed procedure (n = 46), and ovarian-sparing tumorectomy was performed in 9 patients (one bilaterally). Histologically, teratomas were found most frequently (mature: 45, immature: 9), followed by mixed tumors (n = 7), yolk sac tumors (n = 3), dysgerminoma (n = 2), gonadoblastoma (n = 2), and embryonal carcinoma (n = 1). Surgical removal of the tumor with or without the ovary and/or adnex was the sole treatment in 55 patients, chemotherapy was administered in 10 and radiotherapy + chemotherapy in one. Intra-operative spillage of tumoral fluid occurred in six; this did not influence outcome in five. Recurrence was observed in three patients. Two patients, with malignant disease, died. The 64 survivors are now between 8 months and 44 years after treatment.


With a recurrence rate of 4.5% and a mortality rate of 3%, this series confirms the excellent prognosis for girls with ovarian germ cell tumor (GCT).

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