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Teratomas are part of the germ cell tumour group of ovarian cancers. They are composed of a variety of tissues, and usually all three germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm) can be found. In monodermal teratomas, which happen occasionally, there is only one type of tissue.

Teratomas are further subdivided into dermoid cyst teratomas (aka mature cystic teratomas), immature teratomas, struma ovarii, carcinoid tumours, and a few others.