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Gestational Trophoblastic Disease


The term ‘gestational trophoblastic disease’ (GTD) refers to a group of diseases which arise in the uterus from placental tissue and range from benign to malignant in nature. Conditions which fall under the heading GTD include complete and partial molar pregnancies which are non-cancerous, and a variety of cancers including choriocarcinoma, placental site trophoblastic tumors and epithelioid trophoblastic tumors. 

Gestational trophoblastic disease is most commonly diagnosed in women of reproductive (menstrual) age. The pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a blood marker that can be followed in these diseases and corresponds to how the disease is responding to therapy. In some cases, surgery is the most appropriate treatment but often the uterus can be preserved and the disease treated with chemotherapy. Interestingly, the diseases that come under the heading of GTD are exquisitely sensitive to chemotherapy and are among the rarest of tumors that can be cured even in the face of widespread disease.

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