Combined methotrexate–dactinomycin: An effective therapy for low-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to examine the outcomes of combined chemotherapy using methotrexate and dactinomycin in the management of women with low-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN). The primary outcome is the total number of cycles of chemotherapy required to achieve a normal level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). The secondary outcome is treatment-related toxicity. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of all patients with GTN treated between 1996-2007 and 1991-2007 was performed at the Alberta Cross Cancer Institute and the British Columbia Cancer Agency, respectively. Patients with low-risk GTN, treated with 0.6 mg/m(2) dactinomycin (days 1 and 2) and methotrexate 100mg/m(2) were included. Toxicities were graded using the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. The number of cycles to achieve normalization of hCG was determined, and multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with treatment duration. RESULTS: One hundred women were eligible. The average age was 29 years (range 15-46). The median number of cycles to achieve a normal hCG was 3 (range 1-11). Two patients required second-line treatment and one patient chose to proceed with hysterectomy. Ninety-eight percent of patients were primarily cured with this regimen, and 2 were cured with second line treatment. Grade 3 and 4 hematologic toxicities were experienced by 12% and 8% of patients, respectively. Grade 2 and 3 stomatitis or mucositis were noted in 44% and 3% of patients, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Low-risk GTN is reliably and rapidly cured with combined methotrexate-dactinomycin. Toxicity is modest.


  • Eiriksson, Lua
  • Wells, Tiffany
  • Steed, Helen
  • Schepansky, Alexandra
  • Capstick, Valerie
  • Hoskins, Paul
  • Pike, Judith
  • Swenerton, Kenneth

publication date

  • March 2012