Pituitary germinomas: a multi-institutional study analyzing patient demographics and management patterns

Abhiraj D. Bhimani, Nikki M. Barrington, Tania M. Aguilar, Gregory D. Arnone, Ankit I. Mehta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Intracranial germinomas are exceedingly rare tumors found in the pineal and suprasellar regions. The extremely low incidence of pituitary germinoma has resulted in a significant gap in knowledge regarding its demographics, management, and treatment outcomes. We present the largest multicenter analysis of pituitary germinomas to date, focused on analyzing demographic and management patterns. Methods: This study utilizes the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program (2004–2016) to study patients with a primary intracranial germinoma of the pituitary gland. We analyzed demographic information and management strategies among adult and pediatric populations and conducted a 20-year overall survival analysis using Kaplan-Meier curve for a descriptive evaluation of survival outcomes between age groups and treatment groups. Results: 92 patients were included in the study, consisting of 58% pediatric patients and 42% adults, with overall 60% males. 82% patients received radiation as part of the treatment, with no significant difference between pediatric and adult groups. Chemotherapy was used significantly more in pediatrics (p = 0.0002) while surgery was significantly more common in adults (p = 0.0117). The most common treatment in pediatrics was radiation + chemotherapy (47%), while the most common treatment in adults was radiation + gross total resection + chemotherapy (23%) followed by radiation + gross total resection (19%). Younger age, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy were associated with increased 20-year survival on Kaplan–Meier curves. Conclusions: There exist significant differences in the management of pediatric and adult populations with pituitary germinomas. The low incidence of these tumors makes them challenging to study, but also highlights the importance of national cancer registries in amassing sufficient patient data from which to draw evidence-based conclusions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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