High-Dose Chemotherapy With Autologous Stem Cell Support as Salvage Therapy in Recurrent Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

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Gestational trophoblastic disease usually follows a molar pregnancy but can occur also after an abortion or a term pregnancy. In only 10% of cases will treatment be required; and usually, single-agent chemotherapy will suffice. In high-risk disease, the multiagent regimen EMA-CO is usually used; and if that fails, most oncologists will use the EMA-EP regimen. If this does not produce a remission, there is no unanimity of opinion as to how to proceed. Numerous salvage regimens are in current use, and some centers do not consider high-dose chemotherapy.


A young woman presented 4 months after a normal spontaneous delivery with an elevated human chorionic gonadotropin level and multiple pulmonary metastases. She failed both the EMA-CO and EMA-EP regimens as well as additional standard chemotherapy. She was then treated with 4 separate courses of high-dose chemotherapy with autologous stem cell support, which produced a complete remission.


Even patients with high-risk gestational trophoblastic disease are usually cured with standard chemotherapy. Patients who fail such treatment should be considered for high-dose chemotherapy.

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