Conditions + Treatments

Germinoma in Children

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Overview

At Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, we have already helped many infants, children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with a germinoma: a specific type of germ cell tumor that is usually malignant (cancerous). These tumors, which originate from sex cells, become “trapped” in the brain during utero instead of migrating down toward the testes or ovaries.

Here is some basic information about germinomas:

  • Germinomas are sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation therapy and both can be used to help achieve an excellent cure rate. 
  • The prognosis and treatment of each of these depends on their location, size, and other characteristics.
  • Most germ cell tumors are found in the ovaries or testes. When found in the brain, they’re known as “intracranial germ cell tumors.”

Learn more detailed information about germ cell tumors of the brain and germ cell tumors of the ovaries.

How Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center approaches germ cell tumors of the brain

At the Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, we hold a weekly brain tumor clinic for newly diagnosed children currently receiving treatment. At each appointment, you meet with specialists on your child’s team, from our pediatric neuro-oncologist, neurologist and neurosurgeon, to our pediatric endocrinologist, psycho-oncologist and School liaison.

Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center’s Pediatric Brain Tumor Program offers the following services:

  • Access to high-tech resources, like the intra-operative MRI, which allows our pediatric neurosurgeons to visualize the tumor as they operate with MRI scans. This means they can remove as much of the tumor as possible, and sometimes eliminate additional surgeries.
  • Expert neuropathological review, using advanced molecular diagnostic testing, to identify your child’s exact type of tumor. This information helps predict which treatments are more likely to work.
  • Access to unique Phase I clinical trials, from our own investigators, the Children’s Oncology Group and the Pediatric Oncology Experimental Therapeutics Investigators Consortium. Studies offer treatment options beyond standard therapy.
  • Ongoing care from pediatric neurologists familiar with the early symptoms and side effects of brain tumors and their treatments.
  • Access to one of the nation’s few dedicated pediatric brain tumor survivorship programs. This weekly clinic offers ongoing care to manage late effects caused by your child’s tumor or the treatment they received.

Germinoma: Reviewed by Peter E. Manley, MD
© Children’s Hospital Boston; posted in 2012

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