The Clinical Significance of a Small Component of Choriocarcinoma in Testicular Mixed Germ Cell Tumor (MGCT)

Oudai Hassan, Jonathan Ira Epstein

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The clinical significance of limited choriocarcinoma in a malignant mixed germ cell tumor (MGCT) is unknown. Men with a MGCT with ≤5% choriocarcinoma at radical orchiectomy (RO) between 2000 and 2016 from our consult service were studied. Of 50 men in our cohort, we had clinical information for 30 men. Median follow-up was 41 months (1 to 168 mo). Median tumor size was 4.5 cm (1.1 to 8.0 cm). In total, 22/30 (73%) cases were pT1, 6/30(20%) cases were pT2, and 2/30 (7%) cases were pT3. In total, 4/30(13%) cases had lymph node metastases and 2/30 (7%) cases had distant metastases at the time of RO. In 30 cases with RO we had information on immediate postorchiectomy treatment: 14/30 (46.7%) active surveillance, 4/30 (13.3%) retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, 10/30 (33.3%) chemotherapy (chemotherapy), 1/30 (3.3%) retroperitoneal lymph node dissection followed by chemotherapy, and 1/30 (3.3%) resection of a distant metastasis. Preoperative serum human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels ranged between 0.1 and 60,715 mIU/mL (mean, 4796; median, 485). One patient had an hCG level of 6367 mIU/mL and another 60,715 mIU/mL with the remaining cases <5000 mIU/mL. In total, 4/30 (13%) patients had elevated serum markers after surgery, 3 of them normalized following chemotherapy while the fourth one continued to have elevated serum alpha fetoprotein levels after chemotherapy. All patients were alive at last follow-up. In total, 7/30 (23.3%) patients subsequently developed metastatic disease to lymph nodes or distal organs, the histology of the metastasis consisted mainly of teratoma and yolk sac tumor. Embryonal carcinoma was present in 2 metastatic sites. One lung metastasis was suggestive for choriocarcinoma. Definitive choriocarcinoma was not present in any of the metastasis. A small component of choriocarcinoma in a MGCT is typically associated with relatively low-level elevations of serum hCG levels, and is not associated with aggressive disease. The presence of limited choriocarcinoma (≤5%) does not add to the prognostic information provided by standard TNM staging, which uses levels of serum markers (hCG, alpha fetoprotein, lactate dehydrogenase) as surrogates for extent of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
StateAccepted/In press - May 23 2018



  • choriocarcinoma
  • germ cell tumor
  • metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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