The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) has released new treatment guidelines for a group of rare cancers that impact women during pregnancy. Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, also known as gestational trophoblastic disease, may occur when tumors develop in the cells that would normally form the placenta during pregnancy. Due to the rare nature of this condition, and the small number of specialists worldwide, providers often are not aware of how to provide the best care for women with gestational trophoblastic neoplasia.
David Mutch, MD
“These guidelines are sorely needed,” explained David Mutch, MD, of the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, who leads the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) Committee for Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia. “By compiling expert consensus, we can standardize the way this uncommon disease is treated. When treated properly, [gestational trophoblastic neoplasia] can almost always be cured, but deviating from that standard can have severe consequences. Plus, by providing clear instructions for how best to treat [gestational trophoblastic neoplasia], we can streamline the insurance approval process for more efficient care.”
The NCCN Guidelines for Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia detail treatments for several variations of the disease. For molar pregnancy, surgery is the first and often only treatment required and is generally performed via suction dilation and curettage. Low-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia is primarily treated with single-agent chemotherapy, although additional chemotherapy or surgery may be required for persistent disease. With high-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, treatment typically involves multiagent chemotherapy, with possible radiation therapy for brain metastasis. Surgery can be used for chemotherapy-resistant disease.
The NCCN Guidelines are available free of charge online at NCCN.org or via the Virtual Library of NCCN Guidelines mobile app for smartphones and tablets. The NCCN Guidelines are frequently updated, with new versions released at least once a year. ■