Intracranial Germ Cell Tumors – A Case Series

Chi-Man Yip, Shu-Shong Hsu, Wei-Chuan Liao, Szu-Hao Liu, Chih-Hao Chen, Huang-I Hsu


Background: Intracranial germ cell tumors originate from extragonadal seminal cells and have been found in 0.4–3.4 % of patients with primary CNS tumors in Western countries, while the incidence is reported to be 5–8 times greater in Japan and the Far East. They occur mainly in the pediatric or young adult populations. The aim of this study is to review the outcome of patients harboring intracranial germ cell tumors after therapy.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the medical records of patients having intracranial germ cell tumors who were treated in our division between January 2000 and November 2016. Their age, sex, initial presentation, tumor locations, pathology, treatment modalities, tumor dissemination or tumor progression, duration of follow-up, and outcome were reviewed.

Results: There were 16 consecutive patients (9 males and 7 females) having intracranial germ cell tumors treated in our division between January 2000 and November 2016. Their mean age at diagnosis was 22.81 years. 11 patients (68.75%) got germinomas; 2 patients (12.5%) got mixed germ cell tumors; 1 patient (6.25%) got yolk sac tumor; 1 patient (6.25%) got mature teratoma and 1 patient (6.25%) did not have tissue diagnosis but was diagnosed by imaging findings and tumor markers (high level of alpha fetoprotein and beta human chorionic gonadotropin). 8 patients (50%) had to undergo ventriculoperitoneal shunting procedure to release the obstructive hydrocephalus. 3 patients (18.75%) had tumor progression or dissemination during follow-up. 11 patients (68.75%) had favourable outcome, 2 patients (12.5%) had unfavourable outcome and 3 patients (18.75%) were expired.

Conclusions: Most intracranial germ cell tumors are chemo-radiosensitive. Either chemotherapy or radiotherapy or the combination are the backbone of therapy to the intracranial germ cell tumors. Surgery plays a role to get tissue diagnosis and to resolve the obstructive hydrocephalus if present. 


alpha fetoprotein; beta human chorionic gonadotropin; chemo-radiosensitive; intracranial germ cell tumors; obstructive hydrocephalus

Full Text:

 Subscribers Only


Yip CM, Hsu SS, Liao WC, Chen JY, Liu SH, Chen CH. Neuroendoscopic Management of Intraventricular Germinoma at the Foramen of Monro: Case Report and Review of the literature. Minim Invas Neurosurg 2011;54:191-195

Packer R J , Cohen B H , Coney K . Intracranial germ cell tumors. The Oncologist 2005 ; 5 : 312 – 320

Jennings M T , Gelman R , Hochberg F . Intracranial germ-cell tumors: natural history and pathogenesis . J Neurosurg 1985 ; 63 : 155 – 167

Eom K S , Kim J M , Kim T Y . Mixed germ cell tumors in septum pelluidum after radiochemotherapy of suprasellar germinoma: de novo metachronous or recurrent neoplasms? Childs Nerv Syst 2008 ; 24 :1355 – 1359

Yip C, Tseng H, Hsu S, Liao W, Chen J, Chen C, et al. Dyspnea and choking as presenting symptoms in primary medulla oblongata germinoma. Surg Neurol Int 2014;5:S170-174

Brandes AA, Pasetto LM, Monfardini S. The treatment of cranial germ cell tumours. Cancer Treat Rev 2000;26:233-242

Foo ACS, Lim C, Chong DQQ, Tan DYH, Tham CK. Primary intracranial germ cell tumours: Experience of a single South-East Asian inatitution. Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 2014;21:1761-1766

Matsutani M, Sano K, Takakura K, Fujimaki T, Nakamura O, Funata N, et al. Primary intracranial germ cell tumors: A clinical analysis of 153 histological verified cases. J Neurosurg 1997;86:446-455



  • There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.