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Management of the primary malignant mediastinal germ cell tumors: experience with 54 patients

Ying Liu*, Zhou Wang, Zhong-Min Peng and Yang Yu

Author Affiliations

Department of Thoracic Surgery, Shandong Provincial Hospital affiliated to Shandong University, 324 Jingwu Road, Jinan, 250021 Shandong Province, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2014, 9:33  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-33

Published: 19 February 2014



Primary malignant mediastinal germ cell tumor (PMMGCT) is rare and sometimes the prognosis of the patients with PMMGCT is not very satisfactory.


A total of 54 patients with PMMGCT in a follow-up from 1990 to 2009. We evaluated the role of the surgical treatment and the effect of multimodality treatment strategy for patients with PMMGCT.


Fifty-two patients underwent surgical resections, while the other two patients just received chemoradiotherapy. Among the 52 patients, 28 cases received preoperative adjuvant therapy and 24 cases underwent surgery as initial treatment; 30 cases with complete resections, 18 cases with partial resections and 4 cases with only biopsies. There was no perioperative mortality. Histopathologic results revealed 18 cases of seminomas and 36 cases of nonseminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT). The last follow-up showed that 17 patients were alive, including 11 patients with seminoma and 6 patients with NSGCT. The 5-year overall survival rate of patients with seminomas was 87.7%. The 3-year and 5-year overall survival rates of patients with NSGCT were 47.4% and 23.0%, respectively.


It could be concluded that a complete surgical resection of PMMGCT after chemoradiotherapy showed favorable long-term survival. Patients with pure seminomas have a better prognosis compared with that with NSGCT.

Virtual slides

The virtual slides for this article can be found here: webcite.

Mediastinum; Nonseminomatous germ cell tumor; Seminoma