The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
What Families and Physicians Should Know About Teratomas — Life After Teratoma

Alan W. Flake, MD: Babies that survive the fetal period with teratoma and can undergo a resection of tumor after birth have very good outcomes.

N. Scott Adzick, MD: So in the big view, many of these kids do quite well, but you still need to do the homework of the precise follow-up, not only in the short term but also in the long term.

Alan W. Flake, MD: You have to monitor a baby for about three years before you can be absolutely sure that there's no recurrence of the tumor.

N. Scott Adzick, MD: So follow up by examination, potentially by imaging studies such as MRI and by tumor markers such as alpha-fetoprotein and beta-hcg are important.

Lori J. Howell, RN: Most importantly is the follow-up we need to do for their first several years of life, in terms of filing their alpha-fetoprotein level at one month, and three month, and then six month, and then annual.

N. Scott Adzick, MD: -- to rule out a tumor recurrence because if the tumor is not completely resected, it can come back. The residual tumor can become malignant. Metastases can occur, and the teratoma then becomes a germ cell tumor.

Alan W. Flake, MD: Most of those recurrences, if they're detected early, can be treated as well.

Lori J. Howell, RN: And that's why making sure that they're followed later on throughout their life is very important.

Alan W. Flake, MD: But aside from the occasional malignancy that you see with SCT, most of the kids can have very normal lives with good outcomes.