Purpose of review: Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia represents the malignant end of the gestational trophoblastic disease spectrum. This review updates readers on developments in the management of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia over the past few years.
Recent findings: Progress has been made in elucidating the genetic changes that give rise to gestational trophoblastic neoplasia. The importance of accurate human chorionic gonadotrophin monitoring and the types of human chorionic gonadotrophin produced in cancer are also topical. Fortunately, most patients are cured with chemotherapy, and the choice of treatment schedule according to low-risk and high-risk prognostic groups is relatively unchanged. Indeed, most patients with low-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia are treated with single agent chemotherapy, and those who have high-risk disease with combination chemotherapy using etoposide, methotrexate and actinomycin D, alternating with cyclophosphamide and oncovine. For resistant disease, new paclitaxel-containing regimens appear better tolerated than etoposide and cisplatin alternating weekly with etoposide, methotrexate and actinomycin D.
Summary: Prognosis in gestational trophoblastic neoplasia is now excellent following treatment. Virtually all patients with low-risk disease are cured, and survival is now 86% in high-risk patients. Optimization of treatment strategies for those who develop drug resistance remains a key challenge.