Pharmacotherapy of gestational trophoblastic disease

John Robert Lurain III*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Gestational trophoblastic neoplasms are the most responsive of all solid tumours to chemotherapy leading to an overall cure rate of > 90%. Nonmetastatic disease (FIGO Stage I) and low-risk metastatic disease (FIGO Stages II and III; WHO score < 7) can be treated with single-agent methotrexate or actinomycin D protocols resulting in a survival rate approaching 100%. Metastatic high-risk disease (FIGO Stage IV or WHO score > 7) should be treated with initial intensive multimodality therapy with combination chemotherapy, consisting of etoposide, high-dose methotrexate, actinomycin D, cyclophosphamide and vincristine (EMA-CO) and adjuvant radiotherapy and surgery when indicated. Despite this aggressive approach, ∼ 30% of patients with high-risk disease will fail initial therapy or relapse from remission. Salvage chemotherapy with drug regimens containing platinum agents and etoposide, usually in conjunction with bleomycin or ifosfamide, as well as surgical resection of sites of resistant disease, will ultimately result in a survival rate of 80 - 90% for metastatic high-risk disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2005-2017
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003


  • Chemotherapy
  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Gestational trophoblastic disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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