Medline: 8657926

Radiology 200(1): 277-280, 1996.

Gestational trophoblastic disease metastatic to the brain.

Small W, Lurain JR, Shetty RM, et al.


To evaluate clinical characteristics, treatment technique, and results in patients with gestational trophoblastic disease metastatic to the brain.

Materials and Methods:
From 1962 to 1994, 26 (4.1%) of 631 patients who underwent treatment for trophoblastic disease had or developed evidence of brain metastases (patients were aged 14-43 years). All patients received multiagent systemic chemotherapy and whole-brain irradiation. Total doses of radiation were 2,386-4,000 cGy (200-300 cGy per fraction). No patient received intrathecal chemotherapy. Patients were divided into three groups: group A, symptomatic brain metastases at presentation; group B, asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic brain disease at presentation; and group C, development of brain metastases during systemic chemotherapy.

The overall 5-year actuarial survival rate was 51%. Multivariate analysis findings indicated that age, preceding pregnancy event, human chorionic gonadotropin level, World Health Organization score, performance of craniotomy, and number of brain metastases did not influence survival. The difference in the 5-year overall survival rates between groups A (39%) and B (100%) was significant (P = .03).

Gestational trophoblastic disease metastatic to the brain is curable with systemic chemotherapy and whole-brain irradiation. The authors suggest treatment with steroids, chemotherapy (etoposide, high-dose methotrexate [1 g/m2], dactinomycin, cyclophosphamide, and vincristine sulfate), and concurrent whole-brain irradiation (3,000 cGy in 200-cGy fractions).

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Dr. G. Quade