Genesis and genetics of intracranial germ cell tumors

  • E. G. Van Meir
  • J. W. Oosterhuis
  • L. H. J. Looijenga


Central nervous system (CNS) tumors have an incidence of approximately 5 in 100’000 people/year (Western Europe). Primary malignant CNS germ cell tumors (GCTs) including teratomas comprise only 0.3’3.4% of these, although this frequency is reported higher in Japan (2.1 to 12.7%). These tumors show, the following histological components: germinoma, teratoma (with mature or immature components of the three germ layers), embryonal carcinoma (often as a mixed tumor), yolk sac tumor, and choriocarcinoma. Throughout this chapter we will follow the WHO classification which groups all these tumors under the denomination of GCT. Although the germ cell origin is generally accepted for most of these, it is still questionable for teratomas. It has to be kept in mind, though, that currently the WHO-classification is merely based on descriptive histology and applicable to all GCTs including teratomas, regardless of histogenetic origin.


Germ Cell Dermoid Cyst Primordial Germ Cell Testicular Germ Cell Tumor Immature Teratoma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. G. Van Meir
    • 1
    • 2
  • J. W. Oosterhuis
    • 3
  • L. H. J. Looijenga
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Tumor Biology and Genetics, Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital (CHUV)LausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Laboratory of Molecular Neuro-Oncology, Neurosurgery Department and Winship Cancer CenterEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Laboratory for Experimental Patho-Oncology, Daniel den Hoed Cancer CenterUniversity Hospital RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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