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Am J Surg Pathol. 2007 Sep;31(9):1356-62.

Germ cell tumors with sarcomatous components: a clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 46 cases.

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Department of Pathology, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Mexico.


The clinicopathologic features of 46 patients with germ cell tumors with sarcomatous components (GCTSC) involving either the primary site or their metastases were studied. There were 43 men and 3 women aged 17 to 74 years. Twenty-three tumors arose in the mediastinum, 2 in the retroperitoneum, and 21 in the gonads. The germ cell component consisted of pure mature or immature teratoma (23 cases), teratoma mixed with other seminomatous or nonseminomatous components (17), pure seminoma (2), intratubular germ cell neoplasia (1), and yolk sac tumor (1). The SC included embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (29), angiosarcoma (6), leiomyosarcoma (4), undifferentiated sarcoma (3), myxoid liposarcoma (1), malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (1), malignant "triton" tumor (1), and epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (1). Immunohistochemical studies were carried out in 34 cases with appropriate results supporting the diagnoses. Metastases containing both GCT and SC were observed in 6 cases, metastases of SC alone in 4, and metastases containing only GCT elements in 3. All patients were treated by cisplatinum-based chemotherapy plus other agents followed by surgery. Clinical follow-up was available in 40 patients (1 to 96 mo; mean=24 mo). Thirty-two of 40 patients either died of tumor (25/40; 62.5%) or were alive with advanced, progressive disease (7/40; 17.5%), and only 8/40 (20%) were alive and free of disease between 5 to 40 months (mean=18 mo). Comparison of these patients with an age-matched and stage-matched control group of patients with GCT without SC showed statistically significant differences in survival between the 2 cohorts (P <or=0.001). On the basis of our findings, the presence of SC appears to represent a poor prognostic sign for GCTs of gonadal and extragonadal origin.

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