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Pulmonary Resection in the Management of High-Risk Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia
  1. Margaux J. Kanis, MD and
  2. John R. Lurain, MD
  1. Division of Gynecology Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, John I. Brewer Trophoblastic Disease Center, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Margaux J. Kanis, MD, Prentice Women’s Hospital, 250 E Superior St, Suite 05-2168, Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail: Margaux.kanis{at}


Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of pulmonary resection in the management of high-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN).

Methods Patients who underwent pulmonary resection as part of their treatment for chemotherapy-resistant high-risk GTN from 1986 and 2014 were retrospectively analyzed. All patients had received 1 or more multiagent chemotherapy regimens preoperatively. Patient and disease characteristics were evaluated with respect to outcome.

Results Fifteen (26%) of 58 patients treated for high-risk GTN underwent pulmonary resection with curative intent. Mean age of patients was 29 years (range, 19–37 years). International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage was III in 12 and IV in 3. International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics scores ranged from 5 to 20 (mean, 10). Antecedent pregnancy was nonmolar in 11 patients (73%). Adjuvant surgical procedures other than pulmonary resection were performed in 8 patients (53%). Preoperative chemotherapy regimens ranged from 1 to 10 (median, 4) and courses numbered from 2 to 32 (median, 14). Preoperative human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels ranged from 2 to 2786 mIU/mL (median, 177 mIU/mL). Pulmonary wedge resections or lobectomies were performed via video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (11) or thoracotomy (4). Two patients underwent pulmonary resections on 2 separate occasions. No patient had complications as a result of these procedures. Eleven patients (73%) were cured. In these 11 patients, hCG levels decreased to less than 2 mIU/mL within 6 to 52 days (mean, 22 days) postoperatively.

Conclusions Pulmonary resection of chemotherapy-resistant GTN was an important component of treatment in 26% of high-risk patients, 73% of whom were cured. Ideal candidates have disease isolated to the lungs and low hCG levels.

  • GTN
  • Pulmonary resection
  • Multiagent chemotherapy

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.