Analysis of ovarian teratomas for isochromosome 12p: Evidence supporting a dual histogenetic pathway for teratomatous elements

Christopher Poulos, Liang Cheng, Shaobo Zhang, Deborah J. Gersell, Thomas M. Ulbright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Scopus citations


Teratomas are the most common germ cell tumor (GCT) of the ovary and include several types with a range of clinical behavior. As in testicular teratomas, they may be benign, malignant or a component of a mixed GCT. In the testis, data support separate pathogeneses for prepubertal and postpubertal teratomas, with derivation of the former from a nontransformed germ cell and the latter from differentiation of a nonteratomatous, malignant GCT. The absence of cytogenetic abnormalities (including isochromosome 12p (i(12p)) in mature ovarian teratomas suggests that they may be analogous to prepubertal testicular teratomas, but there are no data regarding genetic changes in the teratomatous components of ovarian mixed GCTs. We therefore studied the teratomatous components of six mixed GCTs of the ovary using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for i(12p). Six mixed GCTs of the ovary occurred in patients 4-33 years of age; all had teratomatous and yolk sac tumor components and three also contained foci of embryonal carcinoma. Using FISH with 12p telomeric and 12 centromeric probes, five of six (83%) cases had detectable i(12p) in their nonteratomatous components, and four of six (66%) in the teratomatous component. One of the two cases without demonstrable i(12p) in the teratomatous portion of the mixed GCT also did not have identifiable 12p abnormalities in other elements of the mixed GCT. By comparison, five pure, mature ovarian teratomas and three pure, immature ovarian teratomas showed no evidence of either i(12p) or other forms of 12p amplification. These findings support that teratoma in mixed ovarian GCTs has a different pathogenesis compared to pure teratoma of the ovary. Furthermore, the findings of i(12p) in both the teratomatous and nonteratomatous components of ovarian mixed GCTs supports that the teratoma derives from other components, similar to the situation in the testis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-771
Number of pages6
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • FISH
  • Histogenesis
  • Isochromosome 12p
  • Mixed germ cell tumor
  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • Teratoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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