Primary CNS germ cell tumors in Japan and the United States: An analysis of 4 tumor registries

Bridget J. McCarthy, Soichiro Shibui, Takamasa Kayama, Etsuo Miyaoka, Yoshitaka Narita, Michiko Murakami, Ayako Matsuda, Tomohiro Matsuda, Tomotaka Sobue, Bryan E. Palis, Therese A. Dolecek, Carol Kruchko, Herbert H. Engelhard, J. Lee Villano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Intracranial germ cell tumors (GCTs) are relatively rare. Their incidence has been considered to be higher in East Asia than in the United States. This study estimates the incidence of CNS GCTs in Japan and the United States, investigates gender discrepancies in each country, and describes treatment outcomes. Data on primary CNS GCTs from 4 databases were utilized: population-based malignant incidence data from (1) the Japan Cancer Surveillance Research Group (2004-2006;14 registries), malignant and nonmalignant incidence data from (2) the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (2004-2008;17 registries), and hospital-based observed survival data from (3) the Brain Tumor Registry of Japan (1984-2000) and (4) the US National Cancer Data Base (1990-2003). Incidence rates per 100 000 for malignant GCTs were not statistically significantly different between Japan (males = 0.143, females = 0.046) and the United States (males = 0.118, females = 0.030). The malignant incidence-rate ratio was higher for pineal GCTs versus nonpineal (ie, the rest of the brain) GCTs in Japan (11.5:1 vs 1.9:1, respectively) and the United States (16.0:1 vs 1.7:1, respectively). In general, 5-year survival estimates were high: over 75% for all GCTs, and over 81% for germinomas, regardless of the type of treatment in either Japan or the United States. The incidence of primary GCTs is similar between Japan and the United States and has the same gender-based patterns by location. High rates of survival were observed in both countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1194-1200
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Brain tumor
  • Epidemiology
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Germinoma
  • Mixed germ cell tumors
  • Pineal gland
  • Teratoma
  • Tumor registry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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