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Malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary: 20-year report of LAC-USC Women's Hospital
  1. J. P. Curtin*,
  2. C. P. Morrow*,
  3. G. D'Ablaing and
  4. J. B. Schlaerth*
  1. * Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and
  2. Department of Pathology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Address for correspondence: John P. Curtin, MD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Box 215, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Thirty-six patients with malignant germ cell tumors (GCT) of the ovary were treated during the period from 1971 to 1990. Twenty-five of these patients underwent initial surgery at this institution; 11 were referred after initial surgery. Endodermal sinus tumor (EST) was the most common subtype (N = 13), followed by immature teratoma (IMT) N = 11), dysgerminoma (N = 9), and mixed germ cell tumor (N = 3). Eight of nine patients with dysgerminoma and 14 of 27 patients with non-dysgerminomatous germ cell tumors had stage I disease. Surgical staging resulted in a change of stage in 10 of 31 patients; seven were upstaged, and three were downstaged. Thirty-five of 36 patients are alive with no evidence of disease at a median follow-up of 47 months (range 12–210 months). Two of nine patients with dysgerminoma received postoperative radiotherapy; two additional patients required radiotherapy for recurrence. Twenty-five of 27 patients with non-dysgerminomatous tumors were treated with combination chemotherapy. Second-look laparotomy was done in 18 patients, four of whom had positive results. Three of the four patients with positive second-look laparotomy results remain free of disease after salvage chemotherapy; the fourth patient died of progressive grade 3 IMT. Nineteen of 27 patients undergoing fertility-preserving surgery have resumed normal menses, and four of these have delivered normal infants. The other eight patients remain on oral contraceptives. We conclude that surgical staging provided important information in this study of 36 patients with ovarian germ cell malignancies. As noted by many previous reports, combination chemotherapy (developed during the past 20 years) has dramatically improved prognosis for this group of patients. Second-look laparotomy (SLL), especially for patients with advanced disease, was able to identify patients requiring additional therapy. Most patients with this disease can retain their normal, uninvolved ovary with preservation of normal menstrual and reproductive function.

  • dysgerminoma
  • mesoneoplasma
  • neoplasms staging
  • ovarian neoplasms.

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