A 30-year experience in using oral methotrexate as initial treatment for gestational trophoblastic neoplasia regardless of risk group

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BACKGROUND: Treatment of postmolar gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN) is often stratified according to FIGO score using methotrexate (MTX) for low-risk patients and first-line multi-agent chemotherapy (e.g. EMA-CO) for high-risk patients. In contrast, oral MTX may be given as first-line therapy to all GTN patients regardless of risk group. The aim was to examine the efficacy of oral MTX and a response-adapted treatment policy, which has been used for three decades at Aarhus University Hospital (AUH).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Seventy-one consecutive postmolar GTN patients treated 1981-2011 were included. Data were obtained from medical records, using histopathology and human choriogonadotropin (hCG) to verify the diagnosis. All patients received oral MTX as first-line chemotherapy. Second- and third-line chemotherapy was given according to response.

RESULTS: Sixty-four (90%) patients were retrospectively categorized as FIGO low-risk disease, whereas seven patients (10%) had high-risk disease. Complete response to first-line oral MTX chemotherapy was observed in 35/71 (49%) patients, while 62/71 (87%) had complete remission on MTX (first-line) and/or MTX plus dactinomycin (second-line), without the use of multi-agent therapy. Nine patients (13%) received third-line multi-agent chemotherapy, six low-risk (67%) and three high-risk (33%) patients. There were no recurrences and no patients died as a consequence of toxicity or disease.

CONCLUSION: Fifty percent of all patients can be cured on oral MTX alone. By adding dactinomycin, about 90% are cured without use of multi-agent chemotherapy. The use of oral MTX as initial treatment can minimize the number of patients receiving multi-agent chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Volume55
Issue2
Pages (from-to)234-239
Number of pages6
ISSN0284-186X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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