Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

Coronavirus Update: What patients and families need to know

Pediatric Germ Cell Tumors

What are germ cell tumors?

Germ cell tumors are malignant (cancerous) or nonmalignant (benign, noncancerous) tumors that are comprised mostly of germ cells. Germ cells are the cells that develop in the embryo (fetus, or unborn baby) and become the cells that make up the reproductive system in males and females. These germ cells follow a midline path through the body after development and descend into the pelvis as ovarian cells or into the scrotal sac as testicular cells. Most ovarian tumors and testicular tumors are of germ cell origin. The ovaries and testes are called gonads.

Tumor sites outside the gonad are called extragonadal sites. The tumors also occur along the midline path and can be found in the head, chest, abdomen, pelvis and sacrococcygeal (lower back) area.

Germ cell tumors are rare. Germ cell tumors account for about 2 - 4% of all cancers in children and adolescents younger than age 20.

Germ cell tumors can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. The most common sites for metastasis are the lungs, liver, lymph nodes and central nervous system. Rarely, germ cell tumors can spread to the bone, bone marrow and other organs.

Children's Team

Children's Team

Providers

Jeffrey Dome

Jeffrey Dome

Vice President, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Division Chief, Oncology
Associate Director, Center for Cancer and Immunology Research
Locations that Treat this Condition

Locations that Treat this Condition

Treatment Service Locations

Show more Locations
Departments

Departments

Solid Tumor Program

Our Solid Tumor Program has a dedicated team of sarcoma experts who specialize in the newest treatments and clinical trials.

Oncology

Our oncology (cancer) team provides personalized treatment plans for children with cancer, including access to clinical trials.

Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases

See other ways to give

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you. Make it happen