Primary Pulmonary Choriocarcinoma: A Case Report

J Reprod Med. 2008 May;53(5):369-72.


Background: Primary pulmonary choriocarcinoma (PPC) is an extremely rare clinical entity. In contrast with gestational trophoblastic tumors that show an extreme sensitivity for chemotherapy, extragonadal choriocarcinomas are mostly unresponsive to surgical and chemotherapeutic treatment and are associated with poor prognosis. The reason non-gestational choriocarcinomas behave so differently from gestational tumors is unknown.

Case: In the present case we report a 30-year-old female patient with primary choriocarcinoma of lung localization who was successfully treated with surgical resection and multiple cycles of combination chemotherapy. During her recovery she was followed up by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) titer measurement, and after 1 year of close surveillance of beta-hCG levels her disease achieved complete remission.

Conclusion: Because of the extreme rarity of this malignancy, there are no standardized therapeutic guidelines for treatment. The first choice in treatment of PPC is surgical resection. Postoperatively chemotherapy is indicated immediately, because definitive histologic diagnosis is not essential before chemotherapy since beta-hCG is a reliable tumor marker for choriocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Choriocarcinoma, Non-gestational / diagnosis*
  • Choriocarcinoma, Non-gestational / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*