Klin Onkol 2013; 26(1): 19-24. DOI: 10.14735/amko201319.
Background: Primary intracranial germ cell tumors represent a rare category of neoplasms, which occur in children and young adults. The WHO classification divides intracranial tumors into germinomas and non-germinomas. The most frequent locality of these tumors is pineal and suprasellar region. Clinical signs and symptoms depend on the localization of the tumour – they most commonly include signs of increased intracranial pressure, Parinaud’s syndrome, bitemporal hemianopsy and signs of endocrine deficiency. Gadolinium enhanced MRI scan of the brain is the imagining examination of choice in the diagnostic strategy of intracranial germ cell tumors. However, the imagining studies do not provide sufficient information about histological type; therefore, biopsy is necessary. The exception represents cases with characteristically increased levels of tumor markers (AFP and β-HCG) measured in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Case: A pineal germ cell tumor was observed in a 26-year-old male with presentation of an eye-sight disorder with focusing difficulty and photophobia, accompanied by intensive fatigue and sleepiness, nausea with occasional vomiting, intermittent headaches and Parinaud’s syndrome. MRI examination of the brain showed tumor expansion in the pineal region and in the right part of the mesencephalon. Radical extirpation of the tumor in the pineal region was performed. The follow-up MRI scan of the brain revealed relapse of the disease. The patient underwent craniospinal radiation therapy with subsequent postoperative chemotherapy (regimen cisplatin and etoposide), three cycles in total. Currently, the patient is 30 months after finishing of oncological treatment in clinical remission of the disease. Conclusion: The treatment and prognosis of this neoplasm differ between particular categories. Germinomas have better survival rates than non-germinomas. A 5-year survival rate of germinoma patients after application of radiotherapy alone was > 90% of cases. The addition of chemotherapy lead to a decrease of the dose and minimalization of the irradiated area, with achievement of fewer side effects without a decrease of the curability. Non-germinomas are less radiosensitive than germinomas, but after the application of the adjuvant chemotherapy, survival benefit was achieved. However, the optimal management of these tumors remains controversial.
Klin Onkol 2013; 26(1): 19–24. doi: 10.14735/amko201319