Germ Cell Tumors and Sex Cord Stromal Tumors Diagnosis

Germ Cell Tumors and Sex Cord Stromal Tumors Diagnosis


Diagnosing germ cell tumors and sex cord tumors

If your child’s doctors think they may have a germ cell tumor (GCT) or sex cord tumor, they will order tests. These tests include:

  • Blood tests to look for certain hormones and proteins called tumor markers, made by these tumors.
  • X-rays, which let us see an area inside your body. They’re the oldest and most common type of medical imaging scan.
  • Ultrasound, which uses high-frequency sound waves to make still or moving pictures of areas in the body.
  • CT (computed tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, which make 3D images of areas inside the body.

Tumor tissue biopsy and genetic testing

If doctors see a tumor on a scan, they may choose to remove all of it. They may also choose to do a biopsy, a procedure to remove a sample of a tumor tissue. Sometimes they also may remove an entire ovary or testis (TES-tis). A testis a gland inside the scrotum that makes sperm and male hormones.

The sample is sent to a laboratory to confirm the tumor type. A pathologist will look at the tissue or cells removed during surgery or biopsy.

A pathologist is a doctor who uses a microscope and other tools to make a diagnosis. MSK pathologists are highly trained in diagnosing rare tumors in children, including GCTs and sex cord stromal tumors.

Our team also examines tumor gene mutations using the latest tumor tissue test. This test was developed at MSK and is called MSK-IMPACT®. The test results can help doctors match your child with the best treatments for the kind of tumor they have.

New Patient Appointments

Call 833-MSK-KIDS Available Monday through Friday, to (Eastern time)