Salvage chemotherapy for gestational trophoblastic neoplasia: Utility or futility?

Kathleen G. Essel, Amanda Bruegl, David M. Gershenson, Lois M. Ramondetta, R. Wendel Naumann, Jubilee Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective To determine the efficacy of chemotherapy after failed initial treatment in patients with high risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN). Methods We performed a retrospective IRB-approved chart review of all patients with GTN seen at a single institution from 1985 to 2015, including all patients who failed initial treatment. We summarized clinical characteristics with descriptive statistics and estimated progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) with the Kaplan-Meier method. Results Of 68 identified patients, 38 required > 2 chemotherapy regimens. Patients were treated for GTN (n = 53), including choriocarcinoma, persistent GTN, and invasive mole; for placental site trophoblastic tumor (PSTT) (n = 5); and for intermediate trophoblastic tumor (ITT) (n = 10). Patients with GTN had a median of 2 salvage regimens, median PFS of 4.0 months, and median OS was not reached at median follow-up of 71.2 months. Active regimens included EMACO, MAC, BEP, platinum- and etoposide-based combination therapies, and ICE; 8 of 53 patients died of disease (DOD). Patients with PSTT had a median of 3 salvage regimens, median PFS of 2.8 months, and median OS of 38.8 months. Active regimens included ICE and EMA-EP; 4 of 5 patients DOD. Patients with ITT had a median of 3 salvage regimens, median PFS of 4.1 months, and median OS of 38.2 months. Active regimens included liposomal doxorubicin, platinum-containing regimens, EMA-CO, and EMA-EP; 7 of 10 patients DOD. Conclusions Several salvage chemotherapy regimens demonstrate activity in high risk GTN. Multiple regimens may be required and cure is not universal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Chemotherapy
  • Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia
  • Placental site trophoblastic tumor
  • Salvage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Salvage chemotherapy for gestational trophoblastic neoplasia: Utility or futility?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this