Sacrococcygeal teratoma historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mirdula Sharma, MBBS [2]


Sacrococcygel teratoma was first described by Stanley in 1842. In 1863, first successful surgery was performed on sacrococcygeal teratoma by Dr. W. Blizard. Between 1950s and 1960s, germ cell theory of the origin of sacrococcygeal teratoma was introduced.[1]

Historical Perspective


  • Teratoma is one of the oldest known tumor.[1]
  • A 4000 year old Babylonian document mentions the first case of sacrococcygeal teratoma.
  • 17th century: French obstetrician reported the first unquestionable teratoma.
  • 1841: Typical sacrococcygeal teratoma was described in detail by Stanley.[1]
  • 1863: The term "teratoma" was introduced by Rudolf Virchow.
  • 1863: Dr. W. Blizard became the first surgeon to successfully operate on sacrococcygeal teratoma.
  • 1884: Virchow referred to external sacrococcygeal teratoma growth as a "soft tail".
  • 1920: M.A. Perlstein, E. R. Le Count, and J. Bland-Sutton suggested sacrococcygeal teratoma as a suppressed twins or parasitic fetuses since teratomas have many well developed features as finger, nail, hair.
  • 1920s: Paul Kraske perfected the surgical technique for removal of the sacrococcygeal teratoma.
  • 1922: A. A. Law mentioned malignant degeneration of sacrococcygeal teratoma and called for the removal of the tumor.
  • 1950s and 1960s: R.E. Gross, H. W. Clathworthy, I.A. Meeker, and G. V. Brindley hypothesized that teratoma originated from totipotential cells of Henson's node.
  • 1950s and 1960s: Germ cell theory of the sacrococcygeal teratoma origin was introduced.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Olson JS. The History of Cancer, An Annotated Bibliography. ABC-CLIO; 1989.

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