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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Polyembryoma


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Overview

What is polyembryoma?

How might polyembryoma be treated?

What is polyembryoma?

Polyembryoma is a type of tumor that develops from the cells of the gonads (testes in men or ovaries in women).  Such tumors are called germ cell tumors.  Polyembryomas have a distinctive look because they are composed of many parts that are shaped like embryos, one of the earliest stages of a developing human during pregnancy.[1]  Symptoms of a polyembryoma may include an unusual bump or mass in the abdomen which can cause pain in some individuals; puberty at an unusually young age (known as precocious puberty); or irregularities in a female's menstruation.  Treatment begins with surgery and may be followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.[2][3]  The cause of polyembryoma is not yet known.[3]
Last updated: 3/20/2012

How might polyembryoma be treated?

Because polyembryomas are quite rare, there are no established guidelines for treating this condition.  However, the first step for treating a polyembryoma is often surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible.  Chemotherapy, and sometimes radiation therapy, have also been used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may remain.[2][3]
Last updated: 3/20/2012

References
  1. Ulbright TM. Germ cell tumors of the gonads: a selective review emphasizing problems in differential diagnosis, newly appreciated, and controversial issues. Modern Pathology. 2005; 18 Suppl 2:S61-S79. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15761467. Accessed 3/19/2012.
  2. Beresford L, Fernandez CV, Cummings E, Sanderson S, Ming-Yu W, Giacomantonio M. Mediastinal polyembryoma associated with Klinefelter syndrome. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 2003; 25:321-323. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12679648. Accessed 3/19/2012.
  3. Chapman DC, Grover R, Schwartz PE. Conservative management of an ovarian polyembryoma. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1994; 83:879-882. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8159384. Accessed 3/19/2012.


See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.