A germinoma is a type of germ cell tumor that is most often found in the brain. Typically, germ cells migrate to the reproductive organs (female ovaries or male testes) during fetal development. However, if these germ cells don't migrate to the correct location, they can become trapped in the brain and multiply in areas where they shouldn’t. There are two main types of germ cell brain tumors:

  • Germinomas (pure germ cell tumors), which are tumors that respond well to treatment. Germinomas usually can be cured using chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. The specific treatment will depend on the germinoma's location, size, and other characteristics.
  • Non-germinomatous germ cell tumors, which secrete chemicals into the spinal fluid and bloodstream and require more intensive treatment than pure germ cell tumors.

More on germ cell tumors:

How Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Approaches Germinoma Treatment

Although germinomas are very rare, at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, we have helped many infants, children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with germinoma. Our pediatric Brain Tumor Center is a world-renowned destination for children with malignant and non-malignant brain and spinal cord tumors. Our patients receive care from neurologists, neuro-oncologists, neurosurgeons and pediatric subspecialists with extensive expertise in all types of brain tumors, including germinomas.

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