Papers And Originals

Choriocarcinoma after Hydatidiform Mole. Studies Related to Effectiveness of Follow-up Practice after Hydatidiform Mole

Br Med J 1969; 3 doi: (Published 27 September 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;3:733
  1. K. D. Bagshawe,
  2. P. R. Golding,
  3. A. Hilary Orr


    Chemotherapy, in conjunction with other methods of treatment, was used in 100 patients with invasive hydatidiform mole or choriocarcinoma following mole. When treatment was instituted within two to six months of the antecedent mole serious drug resistance was not encountered, drug toxicity was slight, the duration of treatment was comparatively short, and sustained remissions were obtained in 57 out of 60 patients. When the start of chemotherapy was delayed beyond six months drug resistance occurred in many instances, toxicity was often severe, the duration of treatment was much longer, and sustained remissions were obtained in 22 out of 40 patients.

    The practice of giving prophylactic chemotherapy to all patients with mole is not established as effective or safe. Differences in the social background to hydatidiform mole in different geographical areas may be such that conclusions based on evidence from one area are not necessarily applicable to another.

    Careful follow-up after mole remains essential, though present methods often fail to ensure recognition of choriocarcinoma while it is still curable. Standard qualitative and quantitative methods for detecting the continued excretion of chorionic gonadotrophin, though useful, are sometimes too insensitive. It is suggested that to supplement local arrangements some form of centralized or regionalized follow-up service based on notification of patients with hydatidiform mole, and making use of radioimmunoassays for chorionic gonadotrophin, could reduce deaths attributable to late diagnosis.