Also part of the UPMC family:
Also part of the UPMC family:

​Gestational Trophoblastic Tumor

UPMC Content 3



What is a Gestational Trophoblastic Tumor?

A gestational trophoblastic tumor is a rare disease in which cancer cells grow in the tissues that are formed in the uterus after fertilization.

A gestational trophoblastic tumor begins in the uterus after the meeting of sperm and egg, but the product of conception is not capable of developing into a fetus.

Types of Gestational Trophoblastic Tumors

The following represent the most common types of this gynecologic cancer.


  • A cancerous tumor that develops from the cells that help an embryo attach to the lining of the uterus.
  • This type of tumor grows quickly and can spread to other tissues of the body — especially the lungs — through the bloodstream.
  • It usually occurs after fertilization. In rare cases, it can occur on its own in an ovary.

Molar pregnancy

  • Also called a hydatidiform mole, this cancer grows from the cells that help an embryo attach to the lining of the uterus.
  • This slow-growing tumor is usually noncancerous (benign), but it can sometimes behave like cancer (invasive mole), or develop into a choriocarcinoma.
  • A molar pregnancy occurs after fertilization and often resembles a normal pregnancy, at first. Some deformed embryonic tissue may be present.

Placental-site trophoblastic disease

  • This type of cancerous tumor begins in the uterus at the site where the placenta was attached to the uterine lining.
  • It's an extremely rare form of gestational trophoblastic tumor.

Who's at Risk for Gestational Trophoblastic Tumors?

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing a gestational trophoblastic tumor, including:

  • Age over 35
  • Previous history of molar pregnancy
  • Southeast Asian ethnicity

Learn more about gynecologic cancer prevention and screening.

Symptoms of Gestational Trophoblastic Tumors

Symptoms of a gestational trophoblastic tumor may include:

Testing for and Diagnosing Gestational Trophoblastic Tumors

Specialists at the Magee-Womens Gynecologic Cancer Program use a variety of tests to diagnose and screen for gestational trophoblastic tumors, including:

Gestational Trophoblastic Tumor Treatment at the Magee-Womens Gynecologic Cancer Program

If you're diagnosed with a gestational trophoblastic tumor, your treatment will depend on the following factors:

  • Your age
  • Your desire to have children
  • The size of your tumor
  • The stage of your cancer
  • Other medical conditions

Your doctors and other specialists at the Magee-Womens Gynecologic Cancer Program will work with you to consider your options and determine a course of action.

Treatment Options for Gestational Trophoblastic Tumors

Surgery is often the recommended treatment for gestational trophoblastic tumors.

In selective circumstances, we may recommend chemotherapy — before (neo adjuvant) or after (adjuvant) surgery — to control an aggressive cancer or to reduce the risk of recurrence.

The use of chemotherapy treatment depends on:

  • Your age
  • The stage of your gynecologic cancer

We may also use radiation therapy to treat a gestational trophoblastic tumor.

Comprehensive Gynecologic Cancer Care

As a patient of the Gynecologic Cancer Program, you have access to additional treatment options and services, including:

Find a Doctor

Browse UPMC doctors and medical professionals to find the care that's right for you. Customize your search by specialty, zip code, last name, and more.

Visit the UPMC Find a Doctor website.
Make an Appointment

Find important information on scheduling your appointment or finding a doctor or service that meets your needs.

Request an appointment now.
Find a Location

Browse addresses and contact information for our network of hospitals, specialty care practices, and community health locations.

Find a UPMC location near you.
Pay Your Bill

Learn more about how to pay your UPMC bill. Find resources including payment methods and contact information for assistance.

Pay your bill now.
Find a Career

Advance your career with UPMC. Discover our latest job listings and learn about our values and career pathways.

Find your ideal career at UPMC.