Clinical features of testicular tumors in children


Yoichi Arai, Department of Urology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo-Machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8574, Japan. Email:


Aim:  Testicular tumors are not common pediatric solid tumors, especially in Asian children. There have been few reviews of cases in Japan to date. We present the clinical features of 14 pediatric testicular tumor patients.

Methods:  Clinical features of 14 testicular tumor patients, such as chief complaints, age at diagnosis, pathology, stages, treatments and prognosis, were examined from medical records. Two patients had their semen tested at adolescence.

Results:  Of the 14 prepubescent patients, 12 (85.7%) patients were diagnosed before 3 years of age. Ten cases (71.4%) were diagnosed as yolk sac tumors, three (21.4%) as mature teratomas and one case as an epidermoid cyst. Nine cases (90.0%) among the 10 cases of yolk sac tumor were diagnosed as stage I and one case was stage IV. One stage I yolk sac tumor patient developed lung metastasis later. Eventually, two yolk sac tumor patients died, despite chemotherapy. While all the cases with a diagnosis before 2 years of age survived, 67% (2/3) of cases with a diagnosis after the age of 2 died of tumors. Semen analysis in two patients showed normospermia.

Conclusion:  In the present study, the most common testicular tumors were yolk sac tumors and the patients diagnosed before 2 years of age showed favorable results. Age could be a relapse risk factor in yolk sac tumors. Guidelines for handling testicular tumors in children is not yet well established in Japan. An organized system seems necessary to gather and accumulate the results of the cases in Japan in order to develop better guidelines for treatment.