gms | German Medical Science

MAINZ//2011: 56. GMDS-Jahrestagung und 6. DGEpi-Jahrestagung

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie e. V.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie e. V.

26. - 29.09.2011 in Mainz

A comparison of the incidence of gonadal and extragonadal germ cell cancers among males and females in the United States

Meeting Abstract

  • Andreas Stang - Universität Halle, Halle
  • Britton Trabert - National Cancer Institute, Rockville
  • Nicolas Wentzensen - National Cancer Institute, Rockville
  • Michael B. Cook - National Cancer Institute, Rockville
  • Carsten Rusner - Universität Halle, Halle
  • Katherine A. McGlynn - National Cancer Institute, Rockville

Mainz//2011. 56. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Medizinische Informatik, Biometrie und Epidemiologie (gmds), 6. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie (DGEpi). Mainz, 26.-29.09.2011. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2011. Doc11gmds199

DOI: 10.3205/11gmds199, URN: urn:nbn:de:0183-11gmds1994

Published: September 20, 2011

© 2011 Stang et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Germ cell tumors (GCTs) most often arise in the testis (males) and ovary (females), but a small fraction develop extragonadally (EGCT). The aim of this study was to examine trends in incidence and survival of gonadal and extragonadal GCTs among U.S. males and females during the period 1973 to 2007. In addition, we examined the topographic distribution of EGCTs among males and females.

Methods: We extracted incidence rates, by gender and race, of all GCTs from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program (SEER 9 registries) for the years 1973-2007. ICD-O morphology and topography codes were used to identify GCTs and their topographic sites. We estimated age-specific and age-standardized incidence rates and relative 5-year survival rates (RSR).

Results: Of 21,170 GCTs among males, 5.7% were extragonadal (5.5% among whites,16.3% among blacks). Of 2,093 GCTs among females, 39.3% were extragonadal (36.9% among whites, 51.0% among blacks). The most frequent extragonadal sites among males were mediastinum, retroperitoneum, brain, pituitary and pineal gland. Among females, the most frequent extragonadal sites were pelvis, uterus, placenta, and brain. The 5-year relative survival rate (RSR) of testicular GCT was excellent among whites (97%) and somewhat lower among blacks (90%), mainly due to a lower RSR for nonseminoma. Among females, the 5-year RSR of ovarian GCT was also higher among whites than blacks (92% versus 85% respectively). The 5-year RSR of EGCT was generally lower than the 5-year RSR of gonadal GCT among all groups.

Discussion: We provide detailed incidence and survival analysis of gonadal and extragonadal GCTs in the US for the years 1973 through 2007. The different age-specific incidence patterns of EGCTs by anatomic site may imply different etiologies. The prognosis of EGCT is generally worse than that of gonadal GCT.

Funding: Dr. Stang was a recipient of a grant from the German Science Foundation (DFG), grant number STA 621/6-1. Drs. Trabert, Cook, Wentzensen and McGlynn are supported by the NCI Intramural Research Program, NIH, DHSS.