Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia in the 1990s

Yale J Biol Med. 1991 Nov-Dec;64(6):639-51.


Major advances have been achieved during the past 40 years in the epidemiology, etiology, pathology, endocrinology, immunology, diagnosis, and treatment of molar pregnancy (MP) and gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN). MP is now recognized as composing two distinct entities--complete and partial, with distinct histopathology, genetics, and clinical presentations. Proper management is dependent on a thorough understanding of each type. Early diagnosis and effective treatment of patients with GTN has resulted in 100 percent cure rates in non-metastatic disease and in the majority of patients with metastases. In most instances, resistant disease leading to death results from delayed diagnosis and overwhelming tumor burden. Moreover, in most instances successful treatment can be accomplished with preservation of fertility and normal pregnancy outcome anticipated. A rare variant of choriocarcinoma called placental site trophoblastic tumor (PSTT) has been described, which, although curable by surgery when localized, is usually fatal when disseminated. It is anticipated that during the decade of the nineties the scientific work in progress will lead to earlier diagnosis and improved survival in resistant cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pregnancy
  • Trophoblastic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Trophoblastic Neoplasms* / physiopathology
  • Trophoblastic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / physiopathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / therapy


  • Antineoplastic Agents