Germ Cell Tumors of the Brain

What are germ cell tumors of the brain?

Germ cell tumors of the brain develop from germ cells — the cells that later become sperm in the testicles or eggs in the ovaries. During the fetal period, these cells may get "trapped" in the brain and develop into tumors. Germ cell tumors that develop in the brain or spinal cord also may be called CNS (central nervous system) germ cell tumors or intracranial germ cell tumors.

  • Germ cell tumors of the brain are rare, accounting for approximately 4% of pediatric brain tumors.
  • There are two main types of germ cell tumors of the brain — germinomas and non-germinomatous (or mixed germ cell tumors) tumors
  • These tumors most commonly involve or are found near the pituitary and pineal glands in the brain.

Germ cell brain tumor treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's

Children with germ cell brain tumors are treated at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's through the Brain Tumor Center, one of the largest and most experienced pediatric brain tumor treatment programs in the world. Our brain tumor specialists have extensive expertise in treating all types of brain tumors, including germ cell brain tumors. Our patients receive care from neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, and pediatric subspecialists.

Find in-depth information on germ cell tumors of the brain on the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s website, including germ cell brain tumor causes, diagnosis, treatment and latest research.