In Vitro Survival of Human Neoplastic Germ Cells
Transformed germ cells give rise to the large majority of testicular tumours, nearly 90% according to Pugh (1976). There has been a very marked increase in the incidence of germ cell tumours during the last few decades, primarily in developed countries with Caucasian population (Adami et al., 1994). Other abnormalities of male reproductive health, such as cryptorchidism, hypospadias and oligospermia, though not as well documented, appear to have risen concurrently (for review see Toppari et al., 1996). Moreover, epidemiological observations report that the incidence of testicular cancer is strongly linked to the birth cohort rather than to the age of the patients (Møller et al., 1993; Bergström et al., 1996). These phenomena suggest that differentiating testicular germ cells in the fetal or perinatal period may be especially prone to the negative influence of yet unknown environmental factors (Skakkebæk et al., 1998).
KeywordsGerm Cell Sertoli Cell Germ Cell Tumour Stem Cell Factor Seminiferous Tubule
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