GTD is a highly curable disease. Women with hydatidiform mole have an excellent prognosis and women with malignant GTD (called GTN) usually have a very good prognosis. Choriocarcinoma, for example, is an uncommon, yet almost always curable cancer. Although choriocarcinoma is a highly malignant tumor and life-threatening disease, it is very sensitive to chemotherapy. 85-90% of women with low-risk malignant GTD are cured by the initial chemotherapy and the remaining are cured by the use of stronger combinations of drugs or surgery. Similarly, 85-90% of women who develop high-risk malignant GTD are cured by chemotherapy used together with the selective use of surgery and radiation. Approximately 10-15% of women with high-risk malignant GTD will develop drug resistance after prolonged chemotherapy. This group is made up of patients with stage IV disease that involves distant organs such as the brain, liver and bowel. Specially designed chemotherapy treatments using drugs that have been shown to be effective against other cancers are being employed to prolong life for many of these women.
Gynecologic oncologists discuss some of the most important research presented at the 2016 SGO Annual Meeting in San Diego. Ovarian cancer survivor and patient advocate Jocelyn Alfandre (pictured) was a featured speaker at the Annual Meeting.