Thursday, October 7, 2010

Germ cell cancers of testes: conclusion

This is the last entry on a series of blogs on germ cell cancers of the testes.

I've added forward and backward links for each of the blogs in the series, so you can visit the first blog in the series and click forward or backward through the sequential entries.

Basically, in this series, we showed, using the SEER public use data files, that there has been a large increase in the incidence of germ cell cancers of the testis in white non-Hispanic males since the first SEER observation year (1973) up to the most recent data year (2007).

Along with the increase in seminomatous germ cell cancers was a lesser but parallel increase in the non-seminomatous germ cell cancers of the testis, when compared in birth cohort populations.

The seminomatous and non-seminomatous germ cell cancers, though derived from very different cell types (germ cells versus embryonic/extra-embryonic primitive cells) develop from the same precanceous lesion (usually intratubular germ cell neoplasia and sometimes gonadoblastoma). Precancerous germ cells are characterized by epigenomic erasure, and this "erased" state seems to allow precancerous germ cells to develop into seminomas or into tumors derived from totipotent stem cells.

Testicular precancers develop from disorders of sex development. The incidence of disorders of sex development, like the incidence of testicular germ cell cancers, has been rising. The cause for the rise of disorders of sex development (and the concomitant rise in testicular germ cell cancers) is unknown. However, the ubiquitous appearance of the platicizer and endocrine disruptor, Bisphenol A, has captured the interest of toxicologists and cancer researchers.

All of these issues were discussed in this completed series of blogs on testicular germ cell cancers.

- © 2010 Jules Berman

key words: carcinogenesis, neoplasia, neoplasms, tumor development, tumour development, germ cell tumor, germ cell tumour, tumor epidemiology, increasing germ cell cancer rates, germ cell cancer, seminomas, seminomatous, non-seminomatous, non-germinomatous, embryonal carcinoma, choriocarcinoma, testis, testes, itgcn, intratubular germ cell neoplasm, plasticizers, endocrine disruptors

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