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Gynecol Oncol. 2018 Feb;148(2):239-246. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2017.12.007. Epub 2017 Dec 13.

Is chemotherapy always necessary for patients with nonmetastatic gestational trophoblastic neoplasia with histopathological diagnosis of choriocarcinoma?

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Rio de Janeiro Trophoblastic Disease Center (Maternity School of Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Antonio Pedro University Hospital of Fluminense Federal University, Maternity Ward of Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Rio de Janeiro), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Postgraduate Program in Medical Sciences, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Postgraduate Program in Perinatal Health, Faculty of Medicine, Maternity School of Rio de Janeiro Federal University. Electronic address:
Postgraduate Program in Perinatal Health, Faculty of Medicine, Maternity School of Rio de Janeiro Federal University.
São Paulo Clinical Hospital Trophoblastic Disease Center, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
São Paulo Hospital Trophoblastic Disease Center, Paulista School of Medicine, São Paulo Federal University, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Ribeirão Preto Trophoblastic Disease Center, Clinics Hospital of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil.
Porto Velho Trophoblastic Disease Center, Ary Pinheiro Hospital of Base, Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil.
Rio Branco Trophoblastic Disease Center, Clinics Hospital of Acre, Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil.
Santos Trophoblastic Disease Center, Guilherme Álvaro Hospital, Santos, São Paulo, Brazil.
Trophoblastic Diseases Center of the Clinical Hospital of Botucatu Medical School, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, São Paulo State University, Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil.
Caxias do Sul Trophoblastic Disease Center, General Hospital of Caxias do Sul, School of Medicine, Center for Biological and Health Sciences, Caxias do Sul University, Caxias do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Porto Alegre Trophoblastic Disease Center, Mario Totta Maternity Ward, Irmandade da Santa Casa de Misericórdia Hospital, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Goiás Trophoblastic Disease Center, Clinical Hospital of Goiás, Goiás Federal University, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil.
New England Trophoblastic Disease Center, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



To evaluate expectant management versus immediate chemotherapy following pathological diagnosis of gestational choriocarcinoma (GCC) in patients with nonmetastatic disease.


Multicenter retrospective cohort that included patients with histological diagnosis of GCC with nonmetastatic disease followed at one of thirteen Brazilian referral centers for gestational trophoblastic disease from January 2000 to December 2016.


Among 3191 patients with gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, 199 patients with nonmetastatic GCC were identified. Chemotherapy was initiated immediately in 152 (76.4%) patients per FIGO 2000 guideline, while 47 (23.6%) were managed expectantly. Both groups presented with similar characteristics and outcomes. All patients (n=12) who had normal human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the first 2-3weeks of expectant management achieved complete sustained remission with no chemotherapy. Only 44.7% (21 patients) of patients who were expectantly managed needed to receive chemotherapy due to plateauing or rising hCG level in the first 2-3weeks of follow up. The outcome of patients receiving chemotherapy after initial expectant management was similar to those who received chemotherapy immediately after the diagnosis in terms of need for multi-agent chemotherapy or number of cycles of chemotherapy. There was no case of relapse or death in either group. Logistic regression analysis showed that age≥40years and hCG≥92,428IU/L at GCC diagnosis were risk factors for needing chemotherapy after initial expectant management of nonmetastatic GCC.


In order to avoid exposing patients unnecessarily to chemotherapy, close surveillance of women with pathological diagnosis of nonmetastatic GCC seems to be a safe practice, particularly for those who have a normal hCG at the time of diagnosis. If confirmed by other studies, the FIGO guidelines may need to be revised.


Chemotherapy; Choriocarcinoma; Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia; Human chorionic gonadotropin

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