Neonatal Germ Cell Tumors
John A. Sandoval,
Regan F. Williams.
Excluding hemangiomas, germ cell tumors (GCTs) are the most common neoplasm in neonates,
comprising a wide range of benign and malignant tumors with unique histological diversity.
Although these tumors are relatively rare, antenatal ultrasonography has increased their detection before
birth. Extragonadal GCTs (EGCTs) are the most common GCTs in neonates, with sacrococcygeal
teratomas (SCTs) being the most prevalent EGCTs. SCTs are characterized as protruding masses
arising from the sacrococcygeal region with or without variable extension into the presacral space. Patients
with SCTs typically have an excellent prognosis, though this is dependent on the ease of surgical resection, the timing
of diagnosis, and the malignant potential of the tumor. Whereas some GCTs can be diagnosed and treated prenatally,
this review focuses on postnatal management of GCTs. We explore the embryological development, histopathology, biomarkers,
clinical presentation, diagnostic features, and treatment of neonatal GCTs. Because the overall prognosis is excellent
for the majority of patients with GCTs, we also discuss the potential long-term effects of antineoplastic agents used
to treat patients with malignant disease.
Keywords: Choriocarcinoma, embryonal carcinoma, germinoma, neonatal germ cell tumors, postnatal neoplasm, teratoma,
yolk sac tumor.
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport