The most common malignant germ cell tumor of the ovary

the most common malignant germ cell tumor of the ovary

The most common malignant germ cell tumor of the ovary is dysgerminoma.


  • Characteristics: Dysgerminoma is a type of germ cell tumor that originates from primitive germ cells. It is composed of large, uniform cells resembling primordial germ cells.
  • Age Group: It most commonly affects adolescents and young women.
  • Clinical Features: Often presents with a unilateral ovarian mass and tends to be less aggressive compared to other ovarian malignancies.
  • Treatment: Treatment typically involves surgical resection of the tumor, often followed by chemotherapy depending on the stage and extent of the disease.

Other Types of Germ Cell Tumors

While dysgerminoma is the most common, other types of malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary include:

  • Endodermal sinus tumor (Yolk sac tumor): Typically seen in younger women and associated with elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) levels.
  • Embryonal carcinoma: Rare and aggressive, similar to its counterpart in testicular germ cell tumors.
  • Choriocarcinoma: Extremely rare in the ovary but can occur and is associated with high serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) levels.
  • Teratoma (malignant): A subtype of teratoma that contains malignant components, which can include elements of other germ cell tumors.


Among malignant germ cell tumors of the ovary, dysgerminoma stands out as the most common. Its early detection and treatment are crucial for favorable outcomes, and it generally responds well to standard therapies such as surgery and chemotherapy.