Gestational trophoblastic disease metastatic to the brain

William Small*, John Robert Lurain III, Ramananda M. Shetty, Cheng Faang Huang, Glenn L. Applegate, William N. Brand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate clinical characteristics, treatment technique, and results in patients with gestational trophoblastic disease metastatic to the brain. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 1962 to 1994, 26 (4.1%) of 631 patients who underwent treatment for trophobiastic disease had or developed evidence of brain metastases (patients were aged 14-43 years). All patients received multiagent systemic chemotherapy and whole-brain irradiation. Total doses of radiation were 2,3864,000 cGy (200-300 cGy per fraction). No patient received intrathecal chemotherapy. Patients were divided into three groups: group A, symptomatic brain metastases at presentation; group B, asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic brain disease at presentation; and group C, development of brain metastases during systemic chemotherapy. RESULTS: The overall 5- year actu arial survival rate was 51%. Multivariate analysis findings indicated that age, preceding pregnancy event, human chorionic gonadotropin level, World Health Organization score, performance of craniotomy, and number of brain metastases did not influence survival. The difference in the 5-year overall survival rates between groups A (39%) and B (100%) was significant (P = .03). CONCLUSION: Gestational tropho blastic disease metastatic to the brain is curable with systemic chemotherapy and whole-brain irradiation. The authors suggest treatment with steroids, chemotherapy (etoposide, high-dose methotrexate [1 g/m2], dactinomycin, cyclophosphamide, and vincristine sulfate), and concurrent whole-brain irradiation (3,000 cGy in 200-cGy fractions).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-280
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Brain neoplasms, secondary
  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Therapeutic radiology
  • Uterine neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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