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Br J Cancer. 2000 Apr;82(8):1393-5.

Treatment of persistent trophoblastic disease later than 6 months after diagnosis of molar pregnancy.

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Yorkshire Cancer Research Department of Clinical Oncology, Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, UK.


Of 4257 patients with gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) registered between 1986 and 1996 with the Trophoblastic Screening and Treatment Centre, Sheffield, 231 women required chemotherapy; 28 were treated 24 weeks or more after the initial evacuation of products of conception. In 18 patients late treatment was a result of a predetermined watch and wait policy on the part of the Centre; these patients formed the study group. Patients were identified from the Centre's computer database. The time interval from first evacuation (diagnosis) to start of chemotherapy was calculated for each patient. Hospital records were reviewed when the interval of observation was 24 weeks or greater to determine patient characteristics, treatment and outcome. Eighteen women were treated 'late' (according to Centre policy), with a median age of 30 years (range 21-57 years). The interval from diagnosis to treatment ranged from 24 to, in one case, 56 weeks (median 33 weeks). Fourteen of 18 women had complete moles, 3/18 had partial moles and one had unclassified disease. All women had low-risk disease and were treated with single-agent methotrexate; 17 were cured with this regimen, one also required salvage chemotherapy. In conclusion, where a successful surveillance programme is in operation for GTD, a wait and watch policy can be adopted without compromising patients whose definitive treatment is commenced more than 6 months after the initial diagnosis.

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