Malignant teratoma

Alternative Names

Dermoid cyst – malignant; Nonseminomatous germ cell tumor – teratoma; Immature teratoma

Definition of Malignant teratoma

Malignant teratoma is a type of cancer made of cysts that contain one or more of the three layers of cells found in a developing baby (embryo). These layers are callled ectoderms, mesoderms, and endoderms.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Malignant teratoma occurs most often in young men in their 20s – 30s. It is often located in the chest area. Most malignant teratomas can spread throughout the body, and have spread by the time of diagnosis.

Symptoms

Symptoms include:

Signs and tests

The health care provider will perform a physical exam, which may reveal signs of congestive heart failure and increased pressure in the chest area.

Treatment

Chemotherapy is used to treat the tumor. A combination of medicines (usually cisplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin) is commonly used.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook depends on the tumor size and location and the age of the patient.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/26/2010

Teratoma - MRI scan
Malignant teratoma

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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