Retroperitoneal germ cell tumors in childhood. A clinical and pathologic study of 11 cases
During the last 54 years at the Children's Hospital 11 children (10 female, 1 male) had been treated for an extragonadal germ cell tumor arising in the retroperitoneum. There were eight teratomas (five mature, three immature), two endodermal sinus tumors and one tumor with a mixture of both components. Abdominal pain or discomfort was the usual presenting complaint, with the average age at diagnosis being 18 months. On physical examination, each child had a palpable abdominal mass usually localized in the upper quadrants. The finding of calcification, bone or teeth, on radiologic study was most helpful in establishing a preoperative diagnosis of teratoma. The preferred treatment for children with mature and immature teratomas is complete surgical resection; decisions regarding adjuvant therapy for patients with immature tumors must be evaluated on an individual basis. The prognosis remains guarded for children with unresectable primaries or those with endodermal sinus tumor. Of three tumor-related deaths, two were due to metastatic endodermal sinus tumor and one resulted from extensive local growth by immature teratoma. Successful management of children with endodermal sinus tumor requires surgery aimed at debulking or complete resection in combination with aggressive adjuvant chemotherapy.