Granulosa-Theca Cell Tumors Follow-up

Updated: Aug 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Starks, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Warner K Huh, MD  more...
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Further Outpatient Care

Follow-up should occur at 2- to 3-month intervals for the first 2 years for patients not undergoing chemotherapy. Then, this can be spaced out to every 4-6 months for the next 3 years, then yearly thereafter.

A history should be obtained and pelvic examination should be performed at each visit. Also, serum determination of tumor markers (ie, inhibin levels) should be performed if these were elevated preoperatively or immediately postoperatively.

If any evidence of recurrence arises during follow-up, imaging studies, usually an abdominopelvic CT scan should be performed to look for recurrent tumors. Most recurrences are confined to the abdomen and pelvis. Other imaging studies may be ordered as dictated by physical examination findings.

Long-term follow-up is required in all patients with GCTs because at least 50% of recurrences are found more than 5 years after initial treatment. [29]


Inpatient & Outpatient Medications


Ondansetron, granisetron, metoclopramide, and prochlorperazine can be used to treat or prevent emesis in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Note that some chemotherapeutic agents (eg, cisplatin, cyclophosphamide) cause a delayed emesis (>24 h after chemotherapy).

The adult dose of metoclopramide is 30-40 mg PO bid or 10 mg qid for 3 days. The pediatric dose is 10-20 mg PO bid for 3 days.

The adult dose of prochlorperazine is 5-10 mg PO q6-8h or 25 mg PR bid. The pediatric dose is 0.1-0.15 mg/kg PO q6-8h or 0.2-0.3 mg/kg PR bid.

Note that metoclopramide and prochlorperazine may cause sedation and dystonic reactions.

Hematopoietic growth factors

A host of growth factors now can be given in place of antibiotics and transfusion of blood products to treat severe chemotherapy-induced or radiation-induced bone marrow suppression.

Available agents include granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (neutrophil-specific), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (neutrophil-, eosinophil-, and monocyte-specific), and erythropoietin (red cell–specific). Indications for each are patient-dependent.



Patients admitted with nonspecific complaints who are found later to have a pelvic mass and/or other signs of malignancy (ie, ascites, elevated tumor marker levels, outward signs of abnormal sex hormone production) should be transferred for operative and postoperative management by a trained gynecologic oncologist if one is not available at the current facility. Otherwise, consultation generally can be performed on an outpatient basis, preferably preoperatively in women with pelvic masses.



No means of preventing sex cord–stromal tumors of the ovary are known.



In 10%-15% of cases, acute abdominal symptoms may be the presenting complaints for patients with rupture of their mass, hemorrhage into the mass, or torsion of the ovary.

Adverse effects from chemotherapy can be expected but generally are well tolerated. Specific adverse effects vary with the type of chemotherapy given and have been discussed in In/Out Patient Meds and Medication.



The prognosis for granulosa-theca cell tumors generally is very favorable. GCTs are considered to be tumors of low malignant potential. Approximately 90% of GCTs are at stage I at the time of diagnosis (see Staging). The 10-year survival rate for stage I tumors in adults is 90-96%. GCTs of more advanced stages are associated with 5- and 10-year survival rates of 33-44%. The overall 5-year survival rates for patients with AGCTs or JGCTs are 90% and 95-97%, respectively. The 10-year survival rate for AGCTs is approximately 76%. In contrast, the overall 5-year survival rate for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer is only 30-50% because only one quarter of patients present with stage I disease.

Recurrences in patients with AGCTs tend to be later than in patients with JGCTs. Mom et al reported a recurrence rate of 43% in 30 patients with stage I-III GCT observed over 10 years. Mom states that while the recurrence rate might be high, it falls within the range of 9-39% cited in other studies. [30] Average recurrence for the adult type is approximately 5 years after treatment, with more than half of these occurring more than 5 years after primary treatment. These tumors tend to follow an indolent course, with a mean survival of 5 years after the recurrence is diagnosed. The 10-year overall survival after an AGCT recurrence is in the 50-60% range.

More recently, van Meurs et al developed a prognostic model for the prediction of recurrence-free survival using BMI, clinical stage, tumor diameter, and mitotic index. [31] This model may provide useful information in the surveillance of AGCTs.

JGCTs recur much sooner, with more than 90% of recurrences occurring in the first 2 years. Recurrence in these patients is rapidly fatal.

Tumor stage at the time of initial surgery is the most important prognostic variable. Besides stage, Zhang et al found early stage disease and age younger than 50 years to be statistically significant factors in predicting survival. Other features associated with a poorer prognosis include high mitotic rates, moderate-to-severe atypia, preoperative spontaneous rupture of the capsule, and tumors larger than 15 cm. The presence of bizarre nuclei and tumor rupture intraoperatively does not appear to affect prognosis. [32] A study by Bryk et al reported tumor rupture as the strongest predictive factor for AGCT recurrence. [33]


Approximately 10% of tumors occur during pregnancy, but this does not affect prognosis. Perform surgical treatment for an adnexal mass in pregnancy early in the second trimester in order to minimize surgical and pregnancy risks.

True thecomas have an excellent prognosis, with 5-year survival rates of nearly 100%. However, their estrogen-producing capabilities may cause increased overall morbidity due to endometrial hyperplasia, endometrial adenocarcinoma, and possibly, breast carcinoma.


Patient Education

Patients must be educated about the need for long-term follow-up, especially those with AGCTs. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to prolonged survival in this group of patients.

For patient education resources, see the Women's Health Center and Cancer and Tumors Center, as well as Ovarian Cancer.