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J Clin Oncol. 1994 Dec;12(12):2737-42.

Salvage surgery for chemorefractory gestational trophoblastic disease.

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  • 1Department of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.



To investigate and define better the role of salvage surgery for patients with chemorefractory gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD).


A retrospective review of medical records at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center identified 33 patients with chemorefractory GTD who underwent salvage surgery between 1962 and 1991. The end points selected for analysis were serologic response and survival.


Initial salvage procedures consisted of 29 hysterectomies, four thoracotomies, and one nephrectomy (in conjunction with a hysterectomy). Fourteen patients (42%) had a serologic complete response (CR) to surgery (normalization of human chorionic gonadotropin [hCG]), 10 (30%) had a partial response (> 50% decrease in hCG level), and nine had no response (< or = 50% decrease in hCG level). Of 19 patients who received further chemotherapy, eight (42%) attained a CR. Four patients underwent a second salvage surgery: two thoracotomies, one craniotomy, and one partial hepatectomy. All achieved a CR. The probability of achieving a CR was influenced by the time from diagnosis to surgery, number of preoperative disease sites, preoperative World Health Organization (WHO) score, and histologic type. Survival was influenced by the type of antecedent pregnancy, number of preoperative regimens, number of preoperative disease sites, time from diagnosis to surgery, and preoperative WHO score.


Based on the findings of this study, it appears that a select subset of patients with chemorefractory GTD who have a limited number of clinically detectable tumor foci may benefit from salvage surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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