Intracranial Germ Cell Tumors

  • Steve BraunsteinEmail author
  • Sean M. McBride
  • Daphne A. Haas-Kogan
Part of the Pediatric Oncology book series (PEDIATRICO)


Intracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs) are a group of relatively uncommon tumors, comprising less than 1 % of all central nervous system (CNS) tumors, that have histological, genetic, biochemical, diagnostic, and therapeutic similarities to GCTs that occur outside the CNS (Ostrom et al. 2014). In this chapter, we review the epidemiology of intracranial GCTs, the pathologic features of both benign and malignant GCTs, and their molecular and cytogenetic characteristics. We discuss the clinical features of intracranial GCTs and the role of imaging and laboratory investigations in diagnosis. In broaching the controversy surrounding diagnostic biopsy, we delineate the arguments for and against mandatory biopsy prior to treatment. We review recent changes in practice with de-escalation in radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment approaches. Lastly, we discuss risk stratification to intensify treatment in patients with intracranial GCTs that have a poor prognosis.


Embryonal Carcinoma Primordial Germ Cell Pineal Region Mature Teratoma Immature Teratoma 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steve Braunstein
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sean M. McBride
    • 2
  • Daphne A. Haas-Kogan
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiation OncologyBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, & Boston Children’s HospitalBostonUSA

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