Granulosa cell tumours of the ovary


Dr. Puliyath Geetha, Department of Gynaeconcology, SUT Institute of Oncology, Pattom Palace, Pattom, Trivandrum, 695004 Kerala, India. Email:


Granulosa cell tumours are rare, potentially malignant sex cord stromal tumours of the ovary. They are unique in their presentation and histological features. Many of them are hormone-producing and this property helps them to present early unlike other epithelial ovarian cancers. As a result, most of them will be in an early stage at the time of initial diagnosis. The tumour can manifest in young girls as a juvenile form and conservative management with unilateral salpingo-opherectomy may be an option in them as 95% are unilateral. Surgery is the treatment of choice and initial staging laparatomy a determinant recurrence. Advance stage of the tumour, its size (>5 cm), mitotic figures (>10/hpf), nuclear atypia and absence of call-exner bodies are poor prognostic factors. Such tumours are characterised by late recurrences and this necessitates a prolonged follow-up. Tumour markers such as inhibin and estradiol are useful in follow-up. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone replacement therapy have very little role in the initial treatment and may be suggested in case of recurrences. With appropriate treatment, a better survival rate can be achieved as against other ovarian malignancies.

Methods used for locating, selecting and synthesising data:  A search of Medline and Cochrane data base for the period from 1999 to 2010 was carried out to include relevant systematic reviews, meta-analysis, randomised controlled and other clinical and rare case reports. The date of the last search was January 2010.