Tumours of the ovaries represent around 4% of tumours overall in females and around 2% of all tumours in children less than 15 year of age. In children and adolescents, germ cell tumours of the ovary are by far the most common pathology (around 70%) among ovarian tumours while in adults, carcinoma of the ovarian epithelium accounts for 85-90% of the ovarian tumours.
Dr Biswajit and his colleagues from a tertiary cancer centre from Chennai have recently published outcomes of 40 girls less than 18 years of age with ovarian germ cell tumours who were managed in their institute from 1990 to 2002 with cisplatin-based chemotherapy and surgery (Ref - Biswajit et al, Journal of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, March 2010). Nearly 2/3rd of the patients presented in Stage III-IV. Delays in diagnosis and treatment could have been due to patient-related factors or due to healthcare-related delays although this was not specifically studied. The 5 years disease-free survival was 72.8% (mainly because of relapses in 25% of patients) and overall survival was 94.9%. Similar results were reported from Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai nearly 15 years ago although they had less relapses (Ref - Kapoor et al, Journal of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, November 1995).