Adenocarcinoma of the endometrium treated with combined irradiation and surgery: Study of 437 patients

Sasa Mutic, Daniel A. Low, Eric E. Klein, James F. Dempsey, James A. Purdy

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32 Scopus citations


Purpose: To identify prognostic factors and treatment toxicity in a series of operable endometrial adenocarcinomas. Methods and Materials: Between November 1971 and October 1992, 437 patients (pts) with endometrial carcinoma, staged according to the 1988 FIGO staging system (225 Stage IB, 107 Stage IC, 4 Stage IIA, 35 Stage IIB, 30 Stage IIIA, 6 Stage IIIB, and 30 Stage IIIC), underwent total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy without (n = 140) or with (n = 297) pelvic lymph node dissection. The chronology of adjuvant RT was not randomized and depended on the usual practices of the surgical teams. Seventy-nine pts (Group I) received preoperative low-dose-rate uterovaginal brachytherapy (mean dose [MD]: 57 Gy). Three hundred fifty-eight pts (Group II) received postoperative RT. One hundred ninety-six pts received low-dose-rate vaginal brachytherapy alone (MD: 50 Gy). One hundred fifty-eight pts had external beam pelvic RT (MD: 46 Gy) followed by low-dose-rate vaginal brachytherapy (MD: 17 Gy). Four pts had external beam pelvic RT alone (MD: 47 Gy). The mean follow-up from the beginning of treatment was 128 months.Results: The 10-year disease-free survival rate was 86%. From 57 recurrences, only 12 were isolated locoregional recurrences. The independent factors decreasing the probability of disease-free survival were as follows: histologic type (clear-cell carcinoma, p = 0.038), largest histologic tumor diameter >3 cm (p = 0.015), histologic grade (p = 0.008), myometrial invasion > 1/2 (p = 0.005), and 1988 FIGO staging system (p = 9.10-8). In Group II, the addition of external beam pelvic RT did not seem to independently improve vaginal or pelvic control. The postoperative complication rate was 7%. The independent factors increasing the risk of postoperative complications were stage FIGO (p = 0.02) and pelvic lymph node dissection (p = 0.011). The 10-year rate for Grade 3 and 4 late radiation complications according to the LENT-SOMA scoring system was 3.1%. External beam pelvic RT independently increased the rate for Grade 3 and 4 late complication (RR: 5.6, p = 0.0096). Conclusion: Postoperative external beam pelvic RT increases the risk of late radiation complications. After surgical and histopathologic staging with pelvic lymph node dissection, in subgroup of 'intermediate-risk' patients (Stage IA Grade 3, IB-C and II), postoperative vaginal brachytherapy alone is probably sufficient to obtain a good therapeutic index. Results for patients with Stage III tumor are not satisfactory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-97
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2001


  • Complications
  • Endometrial carcinoma
  • Radiotherapy
  • Risk factors
  • Surgery
  • Survival


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