Gestational Choriocarcinoma

Part of the Current Clinical Pathology book series (CCPATH)


Gestational choriocarcinoma is the most aggressive form of trophoblastic disease with tumor cells morphologically recapitulating the trophoblast of the developing placenta at its previllous stage. The tumor has a high propensity for hematogenous spread, and in fact, one of the most malignant tumors in human if untreated. Being a disease of long historical recognition (see Chap. 1), various names were used in the past including sarcoma uteri deciduocellulare as a malignant tumor derived from the decidua of pregnancy (Int J Gynecol Pathol 19(3):284–292, 2000), “deciduoma malignum” or “chorio-deciduo-cellular sarcoma,” “sarcoma of the chorial villi,” and “chorioepithelioma” (Int J Gynecol Pathol 19(3):284–292, 2000; Int J Gynecol Pathol 18(3):281–287, 1999). The term “choriocarcinoma” was eventually introduced by Ewing (J Hist Med Allied Sci 16:49–73, 1961; Surg Gynecol Obstet 10:26, 1910). The inception of chemotherapy management in late 1950s marked the beginning of the era of dramatic decrease in mortality of patients with gestational choriocarcinoma (Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 93:5, 1956). Once an invariably fatal malignancy, the tumor can be treated with over 90% survival or cure rate by methotrexate-based chemotherapy (Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 93:5, 1956; Am J Obstet Gynecol 82:631–640, 1961).


Choriocarcinoma Diagnostic features Differential diagnosis 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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