Teratoma is a rare type of germ cell tumor. It can contain fully developed tissues and organs, including hair, teeth, muscle, and bone. Teratomas most frequently occur in ovaries, testicles and tailbones. They can arise in other parts of the body as well. Teratomas are more common in females. However, they can appear in newborns, children or adults. There are two groups of teratomas as mature and immature teratomas. Mature teratomas are benign tumors, so they are not cancerous. Immature teratomas are malignant tumors which are cancerous.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Mature Teratoma
3. What is Immature Teratoma
4. Similarities Between Mature and Immature Teratoma
5. Side by Side Comparison – Mature vs Immature Teratoma in Tabular Form
What is Mature Teratoma?
Mature teratoma is a category of teratomas. Mature teratomas are benign tumors. They are not cancerous. In rare cases, they convert into malignant tumors. Mature teratomas can be removed surgically. But they may grow again after the removal. Mature tumors are composed of well-differentiated derivatives of two or three germ cell layers. They can be further categorized into three groups as cystic, solid and mixed. Cystic mature teratomas are self-enclosed in their own fluid-containing sacs. Solid teratomas are made up of tissues, and they are not self-enclosed. Mixed teratomas contain both solid and cystic parts.
Ovarian teratomas are mostly mature and are also known as dermoid cysts. A small percentage of mature ovarian teratomas is cancerous, and they are usually found in women during their reproductive years. In males, pre-puberty or pediatric testicular teratomas are usually mature and noncancerous.
What is Immature Teratoma?
Immature teratoma is a malignant cancer or a malignant tumor. These teratomas are very rare. But, they are rapidly growing germ cell neoplasms. They are composed of tissues that resemble embryonic elements, most commonly nervous system components, bone, cartilage, mucinous fluid, and hair. Immature teratomas are predominantly solid and lobulated, with numerous small cysts. Generally, immature teratomas are more common in the first two decades of life. But they may occur at any age. Symptoms of immature teratomas are nonspecific.
Immature ovarian teratomas are rare. They are found in girls and young women up to the age of 20. They are progressively less common in older women. In males, post-puberty testicular teratomas are immature teratomas which are malignant.
What are the Similarities Between Mature and Immature Teratoma?
- Teratomas are two main groups as mature and immature teratomas.
- They are composed of derivatives of three germ layers.
- Ovarian and testicular teratomas are the most common teratomas.
- They can be treated with chemotherapy and surgeries.
- They are more common in girls and young women under 20 years.
- Teratomas are mostly asymptomatic.
What is the Difference Between Mature and Immature Teratoma?
Mature teratoma is a benign tumor composed of well-differentiated derivations from at least two or three germ cell layers. In contrast, immature teratoma is a malignant tumor composed of immature or embryonic tissue. So, this is the key difference between mature and immature teratoma. Mature teratoma can be cystic, solid or mixed while immature teratoma is predominantly solid.
The below infographic provides a more detailed description of the differences between mature and immature teratoma.
Summary – Mature vs Immature Teratoma
Teratomas can be mature or immature. Mature teratoma is a benign tumor which is not cancerous. In contrast, immature teratoma is a malignant tumor which is cancerous. So, this is the key difference between mature and immature teratoma. Mature teratoma is composed of well-differentiated derivatives of at least two or three germ layers. Immature teratoma is composed of immature or embryonic tissues. Moreover, mature teratomas are slow-growing while immature teratomas are rapidly growing.
1. Stanislavsky, Alexandra. “Immature Ovarian Teratoma: Radiology Reference Article.” Radiopaedia Blog RSS, Available here.