Germ Cell Tumours

Germ cells, located in the ovaries, are responsible for the production of eggs. Tumours growing out of these cells are very rare, accounting for fewer than two percent of all ovarian tumours.

Types of these tumours include:

  • Teratomas
  • Dysgerminomas
  • Endodermal sinus tumours
  • Choriocarcinomas

Germ cell tumours can also be a mix of more than a single subtype. They are usually not malignant, and the treatment for benign tumours is surgery; however, in the case of malignant subtypes, a stage system developed by the International Federation of Gynecology of and Obstetrics (FIGO) is used to verify how extensive the spread of the tumour is:

  • Early or localized, when the tumour is located in the ovary and has not spread.
  • Locally advanced, when the cancer has spread to an area near the ovary.
  • Local recurrence, when the tumour returns in the same location after treatment.
  • Advanced or metastatic, when it has spread to other organs in the body such as lungs or liver.

Treatment depends on the stage of the tumour. If it is localized, surgery alone might be sufficient. If it has spread, chemotherapy might be given to reduce the size of the tumour and make surgical removal easier.[1]