Germ cell tumoursGGerm cell tumoursGerm cell tumoursEnglishNeurology;OncologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZEric Bouffet, MD, FRCPC000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>This page gives an overview of the different types and causes of germ cell tumours, and what the medical symptoms of germ cell tumours are.<br></p><p>Germ cell tumours occur mostly in the area above the pituitary gland (suprasellar region) or in the pineal region of the brain. There are two main types of germ cell tumours: germinomas and non-germinomatous germ cell tumours. The most common type is the germinoma. About 60% to 70% of germ cell tumours are pure germinomas.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>There are two main types of germ cell tumours: germinomas and non-germinomatous germ-cell tumours.</li> <li>During normal development of a baby, a germ cell develops into an egg cell (in a girl) or a sperm cell (in a boy), then migrating to the wrong part of the body and producing a tumour.</li> <li>Symptoms of germ cell tumours depend on the part of the brain where the tumour is located.</li></ul>
Tumeurs des cellules germinalesTTumeurs des cellules germinalesGerm cell tumoursFrenchNeurology;OncologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZEric Bouffet, MD, FRCPC000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>Cette page offre une brève description d’un type de tumeur cérébrale qui s’appelle la tumeur des cellules germinales.</p><p>Les tumeurs des cellules germinales se produisent surtout dans la région au-dessus de l’hypophyse (région suprasellaire) ou la région pinéale de l’encéphale. Il existe deux principaux types de tumeurs des cellules germinales : les germinomes et les tumeurs des cellules germinales non germinomateuses. Les germinomes sont le type le plus fréquent. Environ 60 à 70 % des tumeurs des cellules germinales sont des germinomes purs.</p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul><li>Il existe deux principaux types de tumeurs des cellules germinales : les germinomes et les tumeurs des cellules germinales non germinomateuses.</li> <li>Pendant le développement normal d'un bébé, une cellule germinale se développe en un ovule (chez les filles) ou un spermatozoïde (chez les garçons), mais ces cellules migrent vers la mauvaise partie du corps du bébé, comme l'encéphale, où elles évoluent en tumeur.</li> <li>Les symptômes des tumeurs des cellules germinales dépendent de l’emplacement dans l’encéphale où elles vont se loger.</li></ul>

 

 

Germ cell tumours1317.00000000000Germ cell tumoursGerm cell tumoursGEnglishNeurology;OncologyChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BrainNervous systemConditions and diseasesAdult (19+)NA2009-07-10T04:00:00ZEric Bouffet, MD, FRCPC000Flat ContentHealth A-Z<p>This page gives an overview of the different types and causes of germ cell tumours, and what the medical symptoms of germ cell tumours are.<br></p><p>Germ cell tumours occur mostly in the area above the pituitary gland (suprasellar region) or in the pineal region of the brain. There are two main types of germ cell tumours: germinomas and non-germinomatous germ cell tumours. The most common type is the germinoma. About 60% to 70% of germ cell tumours are pure germinomas.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul><li>There are two main types of germ cell tumours: germinomas and non-germinomatous germ-cell tumours.</li> <li>During normal development of a baby, a germ cell develops into an egg cell (in a girl) or a sperm cell (in a boy), then migrating to the wrong part of the body and producing a tumour.</li> <li>Symptoms of germ cell tumours depend on the part of the brain where the tumour is located.</li></ul><h3>Non-germinatous germ cell tumours</h3><p>Non-germinatous germ cell tumours are sometimes called mixed malignant germ cell tumours. They are also called “secreting tumours” because they may secrete a substance called alpha-fetoprotein (AFP). Non-germinatous germ cell tumours may also secrete a hormone called human chorionic gonatotropin (hCG) in levels above 50 IU/I.</p><p>The terminology surrounding non-germinatous germ cell tumours can be very complex and confusing. If your child is diagnosed with a non-germinatous germ cell tumour, their doctor may mention that the tumour consists of one or more of the following components:</p><ul><li>Embryonal carcinoma<br></li><li>Choriocarcinoma</li><li>Yolk sac tumour</li><li>Immature teratoma</li><li>Mature teratoma</li></ul><p>Each of these components must be addressed during treatment. This is the terminology used in Europe and North America and therefore it helps to become familiar with the terms your child’s doctor might use. Asian countries may use other terms.</p><h3>Germinomas</h3><p>Pure germinomas do not secrete AFP and they may secrete hCG in levels lower than 50 IU/I.</p><p>Germinomas may also contain one or more of the components mentioned above for the non-germinatous germ cell tumours. Any germ cell tumour that is not a pure germinoma is called a non-germinatous germ cell tumour even if it contains some germinoma elements.</p><h2>About tumour markers</h2><p>Non-germinatous germ cell tumours produce substances called tumour markers which can be detected in the blood or cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid in the brain and spine, also called CSF). Examples of these tumour markers are hCG and AFP, mentioned above. They are called tumour markers because they can be measured and their levels can be used as a marker of certain tumours during treatment and follow-up. AFP is a marker of yolk sac tumours and hCG is a marker of choriocarcinoma.</p><p>Germinomas which do not contain choriocarcinoma can also lead to small increases in hCG. Usually this increase is less than 50 IU/I. In most western countries, germ cell tumours with an hCG level under 50 are called germinomas; germ cell tumours with an hCG above 50 are called non-germinatous.</p><p>Any increase in AFP indicates that the germ cell tumour is non-germinatous.</p><p>Some other tumour markers are under investigation, particularly in the study of germinomas. One such marker currently being investigated is called s-kit.</p><p>Tumour markers can be increased in both the blood and the CSF, or in either the blood or the CSF. This is why doctors recommend that these tumour markers be measured both in the blood and CSF whenever possible.</p><h2>What causes germ cell tumours?</h2><p>During normal development of a baby, a germ cell develops into an egg cell (in a girl) or a sperm cell (in a boy). In rare cases, these cells migrate to or stay in a wrong part of the baby’s body, such as the brain where they can produce a tumour. These tumours may spread to other parts of the brain or spine through cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).</p><h2>How many other children have a germ cell tumour?</h2><p>Germ cell tumours make up about 3% of pediatric tumours of the central nervous system in Europe and the United States. However, they are much more prevalent in Asian countries. In Japan, germ cell tumours comprise 18% of brain tumours in people under the age of 20 years.</p><p>Germ cell tumours affect mostly teenagers and young adults. They are most often diagnosed around 13 to 15 years of age. They are much more common in boys than in girls.</p><p>In about half of children with a germ cell tumour, the tumour is located in a part of the brain called the pineal region. The other half of germ cell tumours are located in various other parts of the brain.</p><p>Approximately 50% to 65% of germ cell tumours are germinomas and the remainder are non-germinatous.</p><h2>What are some medical symptoms of germ cell tumours?</h2><p>Symptoms of germ cell tumours depend on the part of the brain where the tumour is located.</p><p>Germ cell tumours located in the pineal region generally have symptoms of increased intracranial pressure:</p><ul><li>headaches in the morning</li><li>nausea and vomiting in the morning</li><li>blurred vision</li><li>unusual movements of the eyes</li></ul><p>Germ cell tumours located in the basal ganglia show weakness on one side of the body.</p><p>Germ cell tumours in the suprasellar region (upper part of the brain) cause problems with vision and also endocrine problems such as diabetes insipidus. There may be other specific endocrine signs such as precocious puberty, which is the onset of puberty in girls and boys less than eight years of age. Most children treated for a germ cell tumour in the suprasellar region of the brain will need multiple hormone replacement for the rest of their lives.</p><p>For more information about endocrine problems, see the “Growth, Development, and Hormonal Effects” section of this resource centre.</p><p>For more Information on germ cell tumours please see:</p><ul><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=1331&language=English">Diagnosis of Germ Cell Tumours</a></li><li> <a href="/Article?contentid=1347&language=English">Treatment of Germ Cell Tumours</a></li> </ul><br>Germ cell tumours

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