Testicular germ cell tumors

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Abstract

Purpose of review

An overview of many of the preclinical and clinical developments in germ cell tumors over the past year is presented.

Recent findings

Recent epidemiologic studies show changes in the ethnic incidence of germ cell tumors; in particular, African-Americans have seen an increase. Additionally, risk factors for the development of germ cell tumors continue to be identified. Work on the molecular pathways involved in the progression to malignancy continues to expand. First line treatment for the disease is highly effective. In an effort to limit unnecessary treatments and treatment-related toxicities, risk-adapted adjuvant therapies are being explored in early stage germ cell tumors. Identification of more effective second-line treatments for advanced relapsing and refractory disease remains a priority.

Summary

Germ cell tumors are highly treatable, but significant challenges remain for recurrent and refractory disease. Recent studies on the molecular pathogenesis of germ cell tumors further highlight the complexity of the disease. As these processes are better understood, the therapeutic options will continue to evolve.

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