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Center for the Precision Medicine of Trophoblastic Disease

An example of very early complete moles that show abnormal villous configuration, cellular myxoid villous stroma with frequent karyorrhexis, and minimal trophoblastic proliferation.

Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a major disease category in diagnostic gynecological pathology. Among common clinical specimens, morphologic assessment of GTD, hydatidiform moles, continues to suffer from significant diagnostic challenges and inter- and intra-observer variability, even among experienced pathologists. However, distinction of hydatidiform moles from non-molar specimens and the sub-classification of hydatidiform moles are critical for patient care, as the risk of persistent GTD varies among subtypes of hydatidiform moles and so does the duration of clinical follow-up. Moreover, diagnostic inaccuracy compromises investigations of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and behavior of hydatidiform moles by using inaccurately classified cases.

During the past decade, p57 immunohistochemistry and PCR-based DNA genotyping have emerged as powerful diagnostic measures to precisely classify hydatidiform moles. The modern diagnostic approach of molar gestations now requires integration of these ancillary techniques into an algorithm aiming to provide a refined diagnosis, accurate risk assessment of persistent GTD, and to guide appropriate clinical management. Endorsed by the 2020 WHO Tumor Classification of Female Genital Organs, molecular genotyping is required for accurate diagnosis of partial mole and recommended for genetic subtyping for complete moles. Once a diagnosis of hydatidiform mole is made, the patient will be followed clinically by the molar surveillance program through weekly serum beta human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) measurement to monitor the development of post-molar gestational trophoblastic tumors. In recent years, genotyping has also become an important tool in confirmation of extrauterine gestational trophoblastic tumors and their risk assessment for patient treatment options. The treatment of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia is based on the type of disease, stage, or risk group.

At Yale, experienced gynecological pathologists are pioneers in the clinical validation and applications of molecular genotyping for diagnosis of GTD and offer consultation services to pathologists throughout the United States and abroad. Yale expert consultants are authoritative writers in the field of GTD and are editorial board member/chapter contributors to the 5th edition of the WHO blue book on the classification of gestational trophoblastic disease. At Smilow Cancer Hospital, our dedicated gynecologic oncologists are passionate patient care providers in the early intervention, clinical consultation, and personalized therapy for patients diagnosed with various types of gestational trophoblastic diseases.

Our Services

Histological Evaluation

The first step in the diagnostic work-up of GTD is morphologic evaluation on H&E-stained sections. Based on the microscopic features, the cases are triaged for further ancillary studies using published algorithm. Correlative morphological review is crucial for correct interpretation of ancillary studies, particularly molecular genotyping in the diagnosis of molar gestations.

Immunohistochemistry

P57 immunostain is often used in the diagnostic work-up of hydatidiform moles, particularly in the confirmation of complete moles. A variety of other immunohistochemical stains – hCG, hPL, GATA3, p63, inhibin, etc. – may be necessary for diagnostic classification of gestational trophoblastic tumors.

Molecular Genotyping Diagnosis

DNA genotyping has become the gold standard in the diagnosis and subclassification of hydatidiform moles with superb diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. Genotyping does not require fresh tissue and can be performed on formalin fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples. Genotyping may also play a crucial role in the diagnosis of gestational trophoblastic tumors and their risk scoring for clinical patient management.

Selected Publications

  • Bifulco C, Jonhson C, Hao LM, Kermalli H, Bell S, Hui P. Genotypic Analysis of Hydatidiform Mole: An Accurate and Practical Method of Diagnosis. American Journal of Surgical Pathology 2008, 32:445-451.
  • Xu M, Yang Bin, Maria-Luisa Carcangiu, Hui P. Epithelioid Trophoblastic Tumor: Comparative Genomic Hybridization and Diagnostic DNA Genotyping. Modern Pathology 2009, 22:232-238.
  • Buza N, Hui P. Gestational trophoblastic disease: histopathological diagnosis in the molecular era. Invited review. Diagnostic Histopathology. 2010 Nov; 16(11):526-537
  • Hui P. Gestational Trophoblastic Disease: Diagnostic and Molecular Genetic Pathology. First Edition, ed. Hui P. Springer Publishing, 2012, ISBN: 978-1-61779-393-6.
  • Buza N, Hui P. New diagnostic modalities in the histopathological diagnosis of hydatidiform moles. Invited review. Diagnostic Histopathology. May 2012;18 (5):201-209.
  • Buza N, Hui P. Partial Hydatidiform Mole: Histological Parameters in Correlation with DNA Genotyping. International Journal of Gynecological Pathology 2013, 32(3): 307-15.
  • Buza N., Hui P. Immunohistochemistry and other ancillary techniques in the diagnosis of gestational trophoblastic diseases. Invited review. Seminar Diagnostic Pathology 2014; 31:223-32.
  • Buza N, Hui P. Ancillary Techniques to Refine Diagnosis of Gestational Trophoblastic Disease. Invited review. Current Obstetrics and Gynecology Reports. 2014;3: 65-75.
  • Buza N., Rutherford T, Hui P. Genotyping diagnosis of non-Gestational choriocarcinoma involving fallopian tube and broad ligament: A Case Study. International Journal of Gynecological Pathology, 2014 Jan;33(1):58-63.
  • Buza N., Hui P. Egg donor pregnancy: A potential pitfall in DNA genotyping diagnosis of hydatidiform moles. International Journal of Gynecological Pathology, 2014 Sep;33(5):507-10.
  • Hui P, Baergen R, Cheung ANY, Fukunaga M, Gersell D, Lage JM, Ronnett BM, Sebire NJ, Wells M. Gestational trophoblastic neoplasms, Chapter 6 – Gestational trophoblastic disease, WHO Classification of Tumors of Female Reproductive Organs, 4th Edition. Edited by Kurman R, Young R, Herrington S, Carcangiu M. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of World Health Organization (WHO), 2014.
  • Buza N, Hui Gestational trophoblastic disease: Precancerous and putative precancerous lesions. In: Precancerous Lesions of the Gynecologic Tract: Diagnostic and Molecular Genetic Pathology; Springer, 2016, ISBN: 978- 3-319-22508-1 Ed.: O. Fadare
  • Hui P, Buza N, Murphy KM, Ronnett BM. Hydatidiform Moles: Genetic Basis and Precision Diagnosis. Annual Review of Pathology: Mechanisms of Disease. 2017, 12:449-485.
  • Buza N, McGregor SM, Barroilhet L, Zheng XZ, Hui P. Paternal Uniparental Isodisomy of Tyrosine Hydroxylase Locus at Chromosome 11p15.4: Spectrum of Phenotypical Presentations Simulating Hydatidiform Moles. Modern Pathology, 2019; 32(8):1180-1188
  • Buza N, Baine I, Hui P. Precision genotyping diagnosis of lung tumors with trophoblastic morphology in young women. Modern Pathology, 2019;32(9):1271-1280
  • Hui P. Gestational trophoblastic tumors: a timely review of diagnostic pathology. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. 2019, 143(1):65-74
  • Zheng XZ, Qin XY, Chen SW, Wang P, Zhan Y, Zhong PP, Buza N, Jin YL, Wu BQ, Hui P. Heterozygous/Dispermic Complete Mole Confers a Significantly Higher Risk for Post-molar Gestational Trophoblastic Disease. Modern Pathology, 2020, 33(10):1979-1988
  • Hui P, Shih IM. Gestational trophoblastic disease: Introduction. Gestational trophoblastic disease, WHO Classification of Tumors of Female Reproductive Organs, 5th Edition. Edited by the WHO Classification of Tumors Editorial Board. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of World Health Organization (WHO), 2020. Page 310. ISBN: 9789283245049.
  • Buza N, Sebire N, Colgan T, Zheng X. Partial hydatidiform mole. WHO Classification of Tumors of Female Reproductive Organs, 5th Edition. Edited by the WHO Classification of Tumors Editorial Board. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of World Health Organization (WHO), 2020. Page 317. ISBN: 9789283245049.
  • Buza N, Sebire N, Colgan T, Zheng X. Complete hydatidiform mole. WHO Classification of Tumors of Female Reproductive Organs, 5th Edition. Edited by the WHO Classification of Tumors Editorial Board. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of World Health Organization (WHO), 2020. Page 319. ISBN: 9789283245049.
  • Hui P, Baergen RN, Cheung AN, Kaur B, Mao TL (Responsible editor/author). Epithelioid trophoblastic tumor. Chapter 7 – Gestational trophoblastic disease, WHO Classification of Tumors of Female Reproductive Organs, 5th Edition. Edited by the WHO Classification of Tumors Editorial Board. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of World Health Organization (WHO), 2020. Page 323-324. ISBN: 9789283245049.
  • Clark M, Tchrakian N, Clarke B, Metser U, Bouchard-Fortier G. Placenta increta mimicking placental site trophoblastic tumor. Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2021, 31(11):1481-1485.
  • Buza N, Hui P: Genotyping Diagnosis of Gestational Trophoblastic Disease: Frontiers in Precision Medicine (invited review). Modern Pathology, 2021, 34(9):1658-1672.