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Germ Cell Tumors

Germ cell tumors are derived from germ cells, reproductive cells normally occurring in the ovary and testis. Although the incidence of germ cell tumors varies with age, cases before the age of 15 are rare and a peak is seen between 20 and 39 years of age. Germ cell tumor represents about 21% of invasive cancer diagnoses and is most common cancer among males ages 20-39. Germ cell tumors of the ovary are seen to have its peak incidence in the AYA population as well, affecting women often in their early 20’s.

Sources: Gibbon D, Diaz-Arrastia C. The Unique Characteristics of Ovarian Carcinogenesis in the Adolescent and Young Adult Population. Semin Oncol. 2009; 36:250-257.

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AYA patients are less likely to enroll in clinical trials than children or adults due to inadequate health insurance, lack of referrals and many clinicians don’t know of AYA trials. AYA participation is crucial to finding effective therapies. Many comprehensive cancer centers, university med centers, and pediatric centers- support AYA trials.

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