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Polyembryoma is a type of tumor that develops from the cells of the gonads (testes in men or ovaries in women).  Such tumors are called germ cell tumors.  Polyembryomas have a distinctive look because they are composed of many parts that are shaped like embryos, one of the earliest stages of a developing human during pregnancy.[1]  Symptoms of a polyembryoma may include an unusual bump or mass in the abdomen which can cause pain in some individuals; puberty at an unusually young age (known as precocious puberty); or irregularities in a female's menstruation.  Treatment begins with surgery and may be followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.[2][3]  The cause of polyembryoma is not yet known.[3]
Last updated: 3/20/2012


  1. Ulbright TM. Germ cell tumors of the gonads: a selective review emphasizing problems in differential diagnosis, newly appreciated, and controversial issues. Modern Pathology. 2005; 18 Suppl 2:S61-S79. Accessed 3/19/2012.
  2. Beresford L, Fernandez CV, Cummings E, Sanderson S, Ming-Yu W, Giacomantonio M. Mediastinal polyembryoma associated with Klinefelter syndrome. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 2003; 25:321-323. Accessed 3/19/2012.
  3. Chapman DC, Grover R, Schwartz PE. Conservative management of an ovarian polyembryoma. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1994; 83:879-882. Accessed 3/19/2012.
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