Risk of gonadal neoplasia in patients with disorders/differences of sex development

Jolanta Slowikowska-Hilczer*, Maria Szarras-Czapnik, Lise Duranteau, Marion Rapp, Renata Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Katarzyna Marchlewska, Elzbieta Oszukowska, Anna Nordenstrom

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Patients with disorders/differences of sex development (DSD), especially those possessing the Y chromosome, have a higher risk of gonadal germ-cell tumours (GCTs). We aimed to examine the incidence of different types of gonadal neoplasia and associated risk factors. Methods: A total of 1040 DSD patients aged ≥16 years participated in a cross-sectional multicentre European study (dsd-LIFE). Data on medical history were gathered from the patients’ archival medical documents. A web-based questionnaire was filled out individually by the participants. A physical examination was performed in all, while ultrasonography of gonads was carried out in 214 and semen analysis was performed for 53 patients. Results: Germ-cell neoplasia was present in 12 % of patients with DSD and in 14 % of those with XY DSD. The highest risk (36 %) was observed in 46,XY patients with gonadal dysgenesis (GD): complete GD (33 %) and partial GD (23 %), but also in mixed GD (8 %) and complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) (6%). It was not reported in partial AIS, XX male, 46,XX DSD and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, Turner and Klinefelter syndromes, or in androgen biosynthesis defects. Benign sex cord-stromal tumours (Sertoli- and Leydig-cell tumours) were noted only in patients with complete AIS (3.1 %) and Klinefelter syndrome (14.3 %). A relationship between risk factors for GCT and gonadal neoplasia appearance, other than the Y chromosome, was not found. Conclusion: Adult patients with GD and the Y chromosome have the highest risk of GCT and should be kept under thorough medical control and receive special medical follow-up to prevent the development of gonadal tumours.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101800
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 12.2020


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