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Management of Malignant Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors

Parkinson, Christine A. MRCP*; Hatcher, Helen M. MRCP; Ajithkumar, Thankamma V. FRCR

Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey: August 2011 - Volume 66 - Issue 8 - p 507-514
doi: 10.1097/OGX.0b013e318234ede9

Malignant ovarian germ cell tumors are rare, highly curable cancers of young women. The majority of patients can be cured with either fertility-preserving surgery alone or a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Relapses occur in 10% to 20% of patients, and the significant proportion of them can be salvaged with chemotherapy. There is no evidence that treatment for malignant ovarian germ cell tumors will adversely affect menstrual or reproductive functions, increase future pregnancy loss, or increase the risk of congenital malformations of the fetus. Late effects, such as secondary leukemia, from chemotherapy are reported but rare.

Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists and Family Physicians.

Learning Objective: After completing this CME activity, physicians should be better able to diagnose ovarian germ cell tumors, outline management of malignant ovarian germ cell tumors, and understand the impact of treatment on fertility and late effects.

*Clinical Lecturer, Medical Oncology, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom; †Consultant, Medical and TYA Oncology, Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom; and ‡Consultant, Clinical Oncology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, Norwich, United Kingdom

Chief Editor's Note: This article is part of a series of continuing education activities in this Journal through which a total of 36 AMA/PRA category 1 credits™ can be earned in 2011. Instructions for how CME credits can be earned appear on the last page of the Table of Contents.

The authors, faculty and staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity and their spouses/life partners (if any) have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial organizations pertaining to this educational activity.

Correspondence requests to: Thankamma V. Ajithkumar, FRCR, Clinical Oncology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich NR7 0SA, United Kingdom. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.