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  • Teratomas

    While reading other posts I noticed a lot of people that had a reoccurance of TC had teratoma. And in an American Cancer Society booklet I requested it says Immature teratomas have a "greater potential to invade and ocasionally metastasize, and it is this type that is sometimes found to relapse years after treatment." So I have a couple of questions about this. How often does it relapse? And how do you know which type of teratoma you have? My pathology report just says teratoma. But I get the impression that there are no just teratomas; the ACS booklet says the three main types of teratoma are Mature teratomas, Immature teratomas, and Teratoma with malignant transformation. Am I understanding this wrong?
    I have an appointment with my doctors Wed and obviously will ask them these questions too. Just wanted to know what other people's experiences were.

    Rt I/O 4-17-06
    40% Embryonal, 40% teratoma, 10-15% Yolk Sac Tumor, and 5-10% Seminoma

  • #2
    In my case my primary tumor, retroperitoneal lymph node, and lung mass all had mature teratoma and were identified as such in the path reports. In the case of the lung mass, the initial path report was "germ cell", which freaked us out a bit. We found out later that teratomas are part of the germ cell family, so I suppose it's possible that teratomas (all types) and active nonseminomatous tumors appear similar. If the path lab where you had your surgery is unfamiliar with TC, it's possible they can't easily tell the difference.

    Remember that you can always have your pathology slides sent to IU or another expert center for them to work up a second opinion on the path if you're not satisfied with the report you have.

    I have this vision of immature teratoma appearing under the microscope wearing grunge clothes, giving you the finger and saying, 'nyuh-uh!" over and over while mature teratoma dresses smartly, has a steady job, wife and kids, and likes single-malt scotch.

    As far as the statistics on teratoma relapse rates, I don't know. I've seen some studies that say mature relapses occur up to 10% of the time and immature up to 33% of the time, but those studies were in children rather than adult men. If nobody here has an answer, Doug or Mark on TC-NET almost certainly will.
    Vinny (aka Frank)

    left I/O 1/5/05; 95%EC / 5% mature teratoma; stage IIIC
    4x BEP 1/24/05 - 4/11/05; RPLND (left side) 5/31/05
    VATS resection of teratoma from left lung 4/26/06
    Presently surveilling


    • #3
      Thanks for the info and for sharing your experiences. I talked to the doctors (my second opinion) today and they said they're going to look at my slides and see if they can determine what kind of teratoma it is.


      • #4
        my initial path identified my cancer as 100% mature teratoma. the only thing was(is), i had a 12X10cm mass in my left abdomen. well, if mature teratoma isn't malignant and does not spread, how did it get into my abdomen? this is what my onc. told my initial pathologist before i sent the slides to IU, and right at the last minuite before giving up the spcemine, the inital path. called and said they found 10% yolk sac tumor. from what my onc. told me, mature teratoma could have been the result of a previouse malignancy which tansfomed into such, and from what i understand it can regress back (into malignacy) as well. i'm still waiting on my results from IU.


        • #5
          I found it just as confusing Ryan but you say "there are no just teratomas" and you are right, they all should have some qualification with the word.

          From your first post (05-29-06) your pathology goes on to qualify your teratoma as such

          40% Embryonal, 40% teratoma, 10-15% Yolk Sac Tumor, and 5-10% Seminoma

          From this you can say you had only 40% Mature teratoma and 5-10% Seminoma. The 40% Embryonal bit would indicate that a good part of your tumour was immature teratoma.

          Teratoma should really only be called teratoma on its own without qualification if they are 100% mature.(and that doesn't happen very often except after chemotherapy)

          Therefore you have/have had an immature teratoma.


          • #6
            Upgraded to stage 2

            I've been talking to my doctors (my second opinion) and they had me scheduled for an RPLND. I went in Wed morning and had blood work, a PET scan, and talked to the doctors. I was checked into the hospital after all that Wed and drank the first bottle of laxative for the surgery. Then when it started taking effect the doctors came in and told me my blood work had an elevated HCG (a sign of embryonal) and the PET scan showed something in my lymph nodes. So now I'm considered Stage 2 and we decided it would be best to start chemo; no surgery and I drank the damn laxative for no reason haha. Now I'm scheduled to start 3 cycles of BEP (with the possibility of 4) on Monday morning. I was all ready and prepared for the surgery and then had this big suprise. I guess you just never know.