Classification and external resources
ICD-10 C58
ICD-9 181
ICD-O: M9100/3-9101
DiseasesDB 2602
MeSH D002822

Choriocarcinoma is a malignant, trophoblastic[1] and aggressive cancer, usually of the placenta. It is characterized by early hematogenous spread to the lungs. It belongs to the far end of the spectrum of gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), a subset of germ cell tumors.



Characteristic feature is the identification of intimately related syncytiotrophoblasts and cytotrophoblasts without formation of definite placental type villi.

Syncytiotrophoblasts are large cells with bizarre nuclei and an eosinophilic cytoplasm. They often surround the cytotrophoblasts.

Cytotrophoblasts are polyhedral and regular cells. Have a clear/eosinophillic cytoplasm with hyperchromatic nuclei. It's also Chorion associated with the uterus.


Choriocarcinoma of the placenta during pregnancy is preceded by:

Rarely, choriocarcinoma occurs in primary locations other than the placenta; very rarely, it occurs in testicles. Although trophoblastic components are common components of mixed germ cell tumors, pure choriocarcinoma of the adult testis is rare. Pure choriocarcinoma of the testis represents the most aggressive pathologic variant of germ cell tumors in adults, characteristically with early hematogenous and lymphatic metastatic spread. Because of early spread and inherent resistance to anticancer drugs, patients have poor prognosis. Elements of choriocarcinoma in a mixed testicular tumor have no prognostic importance.[2][3]

It can also occur in the ovaries.[4][5]


  • increased quantitative β-hCG levels
  • vaginal bleeding
  • shortness of breath
  • hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
  • chest pain
  • chest X-ray shows multiple infiltrates of various shapes in both lungs
  • presents in males as a testicular neoplasm, sometimes with skin hyperpigmentation (from excess beta hCG cross reacting with the alpha MSH receptor), gynecomastia, and weight loss (from excess beta hCG cross reacting with the TSH receptor) in males
  • can present with increased TSH


Choriocarcinoma is one of the tumors that is most sensitive to chemotherapy. The cure rate, even for metastatic choriocarcinoma, is around 90-95%. Virtually everyone without metastases can be cured; however, metastatic disease to the liver and/or brain is usually fatal. At present, treatment with single-agent methotrexate or actinomycin D is recommended for low-risk disease, while intense combination regimens including EMACO (etoposide, methotrexate, actinomycin D, cyclosphosphamide and vincristine (Oncovin)) are recommended for intermediate or high-risk disease.[6][7]

Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) can also be offered[8] to patients > 40 years of age or those for whom sterilisation is not an obstacle. It may be required for those with severe infection and uncontrolled bleeding.


  1. ^ "choriocarcinoma" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Rosenberg S, DePinho RA, Weinberg RE, DeVita VT, Lawrence TS (2008). DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg's Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-7207-9. OCLC 192027662. 
  3. ^ Kufe D (2000). Benedict RC, Holland JF. ed. Cancer medicine (5th ed.). Hamilton, Ont: B.C. Decker. ISBN 1-55009-113-1. OCLC 156944448. 
  4. ^ Gerson RF, Lee EY, Gorman E (November 2007). "Primary extrauterine ovarian choriocarcinoma mistaken for ectopic pregnancy: sonographic imaging findings". AJR Am J Roentgenol 189 (5): W280–3. doi:10.2214/AJR.05.0814. PMID 17954626. 
  5. ^ Ozdemir I, Demirci F, Yucel O, Demirci E, Alper M (May 2004). "Pure ovarian choriocarcinoma: a difficult diagnosis of an unusual tumor presenting with acute abdomen in a 13-year-old girl". Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 83 (5): 504–5. doi:10.1111/j.0001-6349.2004.00092a.x. PMID 15059168. 
  6. ^ Rustin GJ, Newlands ES, Begent RH, Dent J, Bagshawe KD (1989). "Weekly alternating etoposide, methotrexate, and actinomycin/vincristine and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy for the treatment of CNS metastases of choriocarcinoma". J. Clin. Oncol. 7 (7): 900–3. PMID 2472471. 
  7. ^ Katzung, Bertram G. (2006). "Cancer Chemotherapy". Basic and clinical pharmacology (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division. ISBN 0-07-145153-6. OCLC 157011367. 
  8. ^ Lurain JR, Singh DK, Schink JC (2006). "Role of surgery in the management of high-risk gestational trophoblastic neoplasia". The Journal of reproductive medicine 51 (10): 773–6. PMID 17086805. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Choriocarcinoma — A highly malignant tumor that arises from trophoblastic cells within the uterus. Choriocarcinoma tends to be invasive and to metastasize early and widely through both the venous and lymphatic systems. Choriocarcinoma is one of the two types of… …   Medical dictionary

  • choriocarcinoma — noun Etymology: New Latin, from chorion + carcinoma Date: 1901 a malignant tumor typically developing in the uterus from the trophoblast …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • choriocarcinoma — Malignant tumour of trophoblast …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • choriocarcinoma — /kawr ee oh kahr seuh noh meuh, kohr /, n., pl. choriocarcinomas, choriocarcinomata / meuh teuh/. Pathol. chorioma. [1900 05; CHORIO + CARCINOMA] * * * …   Universalium

  • choriocarcinoma — noun A malignant, trophoblastic cancer, usually of the placenta …   Wiktionary

  • choriocarcinoma — n. benign or malignant tumor of the uterus or testes …   English contemporary dictionary

  • choriocarcinoma — [ˌkɔ:rɪə(ʊ)ˌkα:sɪ nəʊmə, kɒrɪəʊ ] noun (plural choriocarcinomas or choriocarcinomata mətə) Medicine a malignant tumour of the uterus originating in the fetal chorion …   English new terms dictionary

  • choriocarcinoma — cho·rio·carcinoma …   English syllables

  • choriocarcinoma — chorionepithelioma; n. a rare malignant tumour of the placenta originating in the outer membrane (chorion) surrounding the fetus. Usually it is a complication of a hydatidiform mole, although it may follow a miscarriage or even a normal pregnancy …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • choriocarcinoma — A malignant, fast growing tumor that develops from trophoblastic cells (cells that help an embryo attach to the uterus and help form the placenta). Almost all choriocarcinomas form in the uterus after fertilization of an egg by a sperm, but a… …   English dictionary of cancer terms

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”