Gestational Trophoblastic Disease
Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a group of rare tumors that grow inside a woman’s uterus when she is pregnant. These tumors develop in the cells that form the placenta, which surrounds an embryo during pregnancy.
UT Southwestern Medical Center Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center’s highly skilled gynecologic oncologists deliver comprehensive, compassionate care to women with GTD. One specialist will oversee all your care and work with your referring obstetrician/gynecologist before returning you to regular care when treatment is complete.
Signs of GTD include abnormal vaginal bleeding and a uterus that is larger than normal. To diagnose this condition, your Ob/Gyn may perform several tests, including:
- Physical exam and medical history
- Pelvic exam
- Blood chemistry study
- Serum tumor marker test
UT Southwestern offers the latest treatments for GTD, which include:
- Surgery – such as suction dilation and curettage (D&C) or hysterectomy. Learn about surgery for gynecologic cancer.
- Chemotherapy – may be given after surgery to kill any remaining tumor cells. Learn about medical treatments for gynecologic cancer.
- Radiation therapy – not used often with GTD but can be useful if the disease has spread and is not responding to chemotherapy. Learn about radiation therapy for gynecologic cancer.
Many patients qualify to participate in gynecologic cancer-related clinical trials conducted at UT Southwestern to gain access to new treatments and to further research of the disease.
A clinical trial conducted at UT Southwestern found that the most effective single-drug chemotherapy regimen for treating some patients with early-stage gestational trophoblastic neoplasia is a biweekly dose of dactinomycin. The trial showed this drug was superior to a weekly intramuscular injection of methotrexate in stopping the growth of cancerous cells in the uterus. Dactinomycin had a 70 percent complete response rate compared to 53 percent for methotrexate.
UT Southwestern patients who received dactinomycin also required half the number of treatment cycles. Additionally, dactinomycin was easy to administer and had low toxicity – a strong consideration for young reproductive-age women. Additional studies in this area are currently underway.
Learn about cancer clinical trials offered at UT Southwestern.
Meet Our Experts
Our team of experts who treat GTD includes:
Learn more about our gynecologic cancer team.
Request an Appointment
To schedule an appointment with a gestational trophoblastic disease specialist, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.