We document a case with metastatic placental site trophoblastic tumor in a 47-year-old postmenopausal women.
beta-core fragment was measured in urine using the Triton UGP kit. hCG was also measured using the Bayer Immuno-1hCG assay (at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center).
Over 2 years the patient underwent two courses of chemotherapy and two debulking operations. During this time, hCG levels decreased from 227 to 4.1 mIU/ml. hCG levels were close to the limit of detection (<3 mIU/ml), indicating complete or near-complete regression of disease. At this point urine beta-core fragment levels were determined. High levels were detected 7.9 fmol/ml, consistent with the continued existence of tumor (>1.9 fmol/ml). High-dose chemotherapy (CEM) was started with stem cell harvesting. In the following weeks hCG levels failed to identify the tumor (4.1 to <3 mIU/ml). In the first week (during therapy) beta-core fragment levels increased (12 fmol/ml), and in the following weeks (after therapy) levels regressed to 1.2 fmol/ml.
Urine beta-core fragment may be a useful tumor maker when serum hCG levels are near to or below the limit of detection.