Pathobiology of germ cell tumors - applying the gossip test!
Published: 30 May 2013
Leendert H. J. Looijenga and J. Wolter Oosterhuis*
Department of Pathology, Erasmus MC-University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Residual mature teratoma, a frequent finding in clinical pathology since the introduction of cisplatin-based chemotherapy, put Wolter Oosterhuis on the track of germ cell tumors (GCTs). These neoplasms in the borderland between developmental biology and oncology have fascinated him ever since. He tells the story on how GCTs brought him in contact with leading investigators in the field like Ivan Damjanov, Peter Andrews, and Niels Skakkebaek. His fruitful line of research was made possible through a longstanding collaboration with Bauke de Jong and, to this day, Leendert Looijenga who joined his group as a student in 1988. Probably their most important contribution to the field of GCTs is an integrated approach to GCTs, combining epidemiology, pathology, (cyto)genetics and molecular biology, that has resulted in a pathobiology-based classification of GCTs in five types. It has clinical relevance and stimulates further research on these intriguing neoplasms and their corresponding animal models.