Incidence of intracranial germ cell tumors by race in the United States, 1992–2010

Jenny N. Poynter, Rachel Fonstad, Jakub Tolar, Logan G. Spector, Julie A. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Little is known about the etiology of intracranial germ cell tumors (iGCTs), although international incidence data suggest that the highest incidence rates occur in Asian countries. In this analysis, we used 1992–2010 data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program to determine whether rates of iGCT were also high in Asian/Pacific Islanders living in the United States. Frequencies, incidence rates and survival rates were evaluated for the entire cohort and for demographic subgroups based on sex, age category (0–9 and 10–29 years), race (white, black, and Asian/Pacific Islander), and tumor location (pineal gland vs. other) as sample size permitted. Analyses were conducted using SEER*Stat 8.1.2. We observed a significantly higher incidence rate of iGCT in Asian/Pacific Islanders compared with whites (RR = 2.05, 95 % CI 1.57–2.64, RR = 3.04, 95 % CI 1.75–5.12 for males and females, respectively) in the 10–29 year age group. This difference was observed for tumors located both in the pineal gland and for tumors in other locations. Five-year relative survival differed by demographic and tumor characteristics, although these differences were not observed in comparisons limited to cases treated with radiation. Increased incidence rates of iGCT in individuals of Asian descent in the SEER registry are in agreement with data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, where Japan and Singapore were among the countries with highest incidence. The increased incidence in individuals of Asian ancestry in the United States suggests that underlying genetic susceptibility may play a role in the etiology of iGCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 22 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014.


  • Germ cell tumors
  • Incidence
  • Intracranial
  • Pediatric cancer
  • SEER


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