This leaflet is to help you understand what Immature teratoma is, how does it happen, what tests you need and what are the long term implications of the diagnosis.

What is immature teratoma of the ovary?

Immature teratoma is a rare malignant tumor of the ovary. It represents 1% of all ovarian malignancies. It is composed of a mix of mature and immature tissues, from so-called “germ” cells, as they have the ability to differentiate in diverse types of tissues.

Which age group does it affect?

Immature teratoma is more common in adolescents and young adults, usually in the first three decades, but it has also been diagnosed later generally before menopause.

Is there anything I should avoid to do in order not to have an immature teratoma?

Nothing that an individual does can affect the development of an immature teratoma.

Should I have regular ultrasounds every 6 months/year to detect it early?

There is no evidence about the efficacy of the screening to achieve an early detection of ovarian malignancy in the general population. This is true for immature teratoma as well, which is also a very rare malignancy.

Which symptoms should I pay attention to?

Symptoms of immature teratomas are not very specific. However, the most common symptoms are the feeling of abdominal swelling, abdominal increase in size/, feeling of an abdominal mass, abdominal pain.

How is immature teratoma diagnosed?

Immature teratoma is usually diagnosed with imaging; usually with an ultrasonography, which is the first line imaging, but also with other modalities (i.e. MRI, CT scan). A blood test to measure a specific tumor marker called alpha-fetoprotein (or others, like CA125 and beta-HCG) is also useful and is usually performed when an immature teratoma is suspected,

Does immature teratoma have a good prognosis?

Immature teratoma has a good prognosis, with an excellent overall survival rate and good fertility preservation.

Last updated: August 2023