Placental site trophoblastic tumor: an overview

J Reprod Med. 2004 Aug;49(8):585-8.


Objective: To analyze 15 consecutive cases of placental site trophoblastic tumor seen in a single reference institution for gestational trophoblastic disease, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy.

Study design: Consecutive patients affected by placental site trophoblastic tumors were selected from our computerized database.

Results: There were 15 patients with placental site trophoblastic tumor, with a median age of 35 years. The antecedent pregnancy was a term one in 6 cases (40%), a miscarriage in 4 cases (27%), a termination in 2 cases (13%) and a molar abortion in 2 cases (13%). In 1 case the previous pregnancy was unrecognized. The median interval from the last pregnancy was 12 months, and the presenting symptom in 11 cases was vaginal bleeding, in 2 cases amenorrhea, in 1case a nephrotic syndrome and in 1 case, presenting with metastatic disease, hemoptysis. Six patients were treated using neoadjuvant chemotherapy with etoposide/methotrexate/actinomycin-etoposide/ vincristine (EMA-CO) followed in 5 of 6 (83%) cases by hysterectomy. One patient had only medical treatment with EMA-CO because of a strong desire for or childbearing and had a complete response; after 15 months she was free from disease. The last 9 patients underwent surgery as the first therapy. Among these patients 1 had presented with metastatic pulmonary disease and underwent chemotherapy, with complete disappearance of the pulmonary lesions. Two of these 9 patients had a relapse; the mirst patient had a pelvic and bladder relapse, and 14 months after multiple chemotherapy and surgery, she died. The second had a suburethral relapse 2 months after initial surgery; after chemotherapy and surgery she was well and free of disease.

Conclusion: Our experience suggests that the role of chemotherapy may be reconsidered not only for metastatic disease but als of or uterine disease when choosing conservative management in young, fertile patients who desire childbearing. Chemotherapy may play an important role in avoiding relapse or early metastases even in patients who underwent hysterectomy as primary treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Dactinomycin / administration & dosage
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Humans
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*
  • Placenta Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Placenta Diseases / pathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Trophoblastic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Trophoblastic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Dactinomycin
  • Vincristine
  • Etoposide
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Methotrexate

Supplementary concepts

  • EMA-CO protocol