Testicular germ cell tumors of adolescents and adults (TGCTs; the so-called type II variant) are the most frequent malignancies found in Caucasian males between 20 and 40 years of age. The incidence has increased over the last decades. TGCTs are divided into seminomas and nonseminomas, the latter consisting of the subgroups embryonal carcinoma, yolk-sac tumor, teratoma, and choriocarcinoma. The pathogene-sis starts in utero, involving primordial germ cells/gonocytes that are blocked in their differentiation, and develops via the precursor lesion carcinoma in situ toward invasiveness. TGCTs are totipotent and can be considered as stem cell tumors. The developmental capacity of their cell of origin, the primordial germ cells/gonocyte, is demonstrated by the different tumor histologies of the invasive TGCTs. Seminoma represents the germ cell lineage, and embryonal carcinoma is the undifferentiated component, being the stem cell population of the nonseminomas. Somatic differentiation is seen in the teratomas (all lineages), whereas yolk-sac tumors and choriocarcinoma represent extra-embryonal differentiation. Seminomas are highly sensitive to irradiation and (DNA damaging) chemotherapy, whereas most nonseminomatous elements are less susceptible to radiation, although still sensitive to chemotherapy, with the exception of teratoma. To allow early diagnosis and follow up, appropriate markers are mandatory to discriminate between the different subgroups. In this review, a summary will be given related to several recent developments in TGCT research, especially selected because of their putative clinical impact.

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Keywords C-KIT, Carcinoma in situ, DNA damage, Diagnostic markers, MicroRNA, OCT3/4, Pathogene-sis, Primordial germ cells, Review, SCF, Treatment response/resistance, Type ii (testicular) germ cell tumors, carcinogenesis, carcinoma in situ, cell lineage, cell maturation, choriocarcinoma, early diagnosis, embryonal carcinoma, epigenetics, follow up, gene mutation, germ cell tumor, human, microRNA, molecular marker, non seminomatous germinoma, nonhuman, octamer transcription factor 4, primordial germ cell, priority journal, radiosensitivity, review, risk factor, semen analysis, seminoma, sexual development, signal transduction, stem cell factor, stem cell factor receptor, teratoma, testis, undifferentiated carcinoma, yolk sac tumor
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdrc.20140, hdl.handle.net/1765/16256
Citation
van de Geijn, G.J.M., Hersmus, R., & Looijenga, L.H.J.. (2009). Recent developments in testicular germ cell tumor research. Birth Defects Research. Part C: Embryo Today Reviews, 87(1), 96–113. doi:10.1002/bdrc.20140