The role of surgery in gestational trophoblastic disease.

G. Bolis, C. Belloni, F. Vergadoro, N. Colombo, E. Buratti, C. Mangioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fifty-eight consecutive patients with malignant trophoblastic tumors of gestational origin were treated at the 1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the University of Milan between 1975 and 1981. Thirty-five (60.3%) of the patients were treated with combined surgery and chemotherapy. Of these, 44.8% had genital surgery, 12% extragenital surgery, and 5.1% had emergency laparotomies. Minor surgery was done to 17.1% of the patients. Five patients (20.8%) with tumors limited to the uterus and treated with chemotherapy only became drug-resistant, whereas 3 patients (9%) later developed lung metastases. All the patients are alive without any clinical signs of the disease. When there were metastatic tumors, the survival of the group first submitted to a "debulking" operation of the primary focus was 80%, and the survival of the group treated only with chemotherapy was 78.5%. Seven cases required extragenital surgery for the indications discussed in detail and because they had measurable HCG. Six of these had thoracotomies and one had a craniotomy. Five of the 6 patients who underwent thoracotomy (83.4%) had a complete remission. Chemotherapy remains the treatment of choice for trophoblastic tumors. Nevertheless, our data confirm that for some cases, mostly in the high risk group, complete eradication cannot be obtained with antitumor agents. Adjuvant surgery of carefully selected patients helps to save some of those who no longer respond to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-557
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 31 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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