Children's Oncology Group's 2023 blueprint for research: Germ cell tumors.

Document Type


Publication Date



JGM, Adolescent, Young Adult, Child, Humans, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal, Medical Oncology, Biomarkers, Tumor, Risk Factors

JAX Source

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2023;70(S6):e30562.








National Institute of Health, Grant/Award Numbers: U10CA180886, U10CA180899, U10CA098543, U10CA098413, U24CA196173, U24CA114766


Extracranial germ cell tumors (GCT) are a biologically diverse group of tumors occurring in children, adolescents, and young adults. The majority of patients have excellent outcomes, but treatment-related toxicities impact their quality of survivorship. A subset of patients succumbs to the disease. Current unmet needs include clarifying which patients can be safely observed after initial surgical resection, refinement of risk stratification to reduce chemotherapy burden in patients with standard-risk disease, and intensify therapy for patients with poor-risk disease. Furthermore, enhancing strategies for detection of minimal residual disease and early detection of relapse, particularly in serum tumor marker-negative histologies, is critical. Improving the understanding of the developmental and molecular origins of GCTs may facilitate discovery of novel targets. Future efforts should be directed toward assessing novel therapies in a biology-driven, biomarker-defined, histology-specific, risk-stratified patient population. Fragmentation of care between subspecialists restricts the unified study of these rare tumors. It is imperative that trials be conducted in collaboration with national and international cooperative groups, with harmonized data and biospecimen collection. Key priorities for the Children's Oncology Group (COG) GCT Committee include (a) better understanding the biology of GCTs, with a focus on molecular targets and mechanisms of treatment resistance; (b) strategic development of pediatric and young adult clinical trials; (c) understanding late effects of therapy and identifying individuals most at risk; and (d) prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion to reduce cancer health disparities and studying the impacts of social determinants of health on outcomes.