Background: Gestational trophoblastic disease consists of a group of interrelated diseases, including molar pregnancy, placental site trophoblastic tumor, and choriocarcinoma.
Methods: Advances in the diagnosis and management of gestational trophoblastic diseases over the past 5 years were reviewed.
Results: Molar pregnancy is now categorized as complete or partial on the basis of gross and microscopic histopathologic and karyotypic findings. Early detection of persistent gestational trophoblastic tumor (GTT) depends on careful postmolar gonadotropin follow-up and consideration of the diagnosis for any woman of reproductive age with unexplained gynecologic and/or systemic symptoms. Triple therapy with methotrexate, actinomycin D, and cyclophosphamide was once the preferred treatment for patients with high risk metastatic GTT but induced remission in only about 50%. Treatment with etoposide, methotrexate, actinomycin D, cyclophosphamide, and vincristine is now the preferred regimen for treatment of high risk metastatic GTT and has been shown to induce remission in about 70% of patients.
Conclusions: Important advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with gestational trophoblastic disease, and patients can be reassured that they can anticipate normal reproductive functioning.