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At Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, we understand that a diagnosis of a brain tumor such as a germinoma comes with many questions and concerns for parents and families. We’ve provided straightforward information about germinoma here, and when you meet with the team of doctors at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's, they’ll be able to explain your child’s condition and options fully.
What are the different types of germinomas?
There are two main types of germinomas: pure germ cell tumors and mixed germ cell tumors.
Pure germ cell tumors
Mixed cell tumors
What causes germinomas?
Typically, germ cells migrate down towards the testes or ovaries during fetal development. Germinomas, however, are thought to occur when these germ cells don’t move to the right area and instead become “trapped” in the brain. This is why germinomas originate from sex cells, despite being located in the brain.
What are the symptoms of germinomas?
If your child has a germinoma, his symptoms will depend on where it’s located within his brain and the rate at which the tumor is growing.
One of the most common issues that occur when it comes to this type of tumor is hydrocephalus, or the blockage that occurs when spinal fluid builds up in and around the brain. This blockage creates pressure in the head. In turn, a child with hydrocephalus may experience:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”