Definitive radiotherapy in the management of isolated vaginal recurrences of endometrial cancer

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Purpose: The aim of our study was to assess prognostic factors and overall survival after salvage radiotherapy for patients who had endometrial carcinoma and who experienced an isolated vaginal recurrence. Methods and Materials: We reviewed the records of 50 patients treated at our institution between 1967 and 2003 for an isolated vaginal recurrence of endometrial carcinoma. Initial treatment for endometrial carcinoma was definitive surgery in 49 patients and definitive radiotherapy in 1 patient. The median time from initial diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma to recurrence was 25 months (range, 4-179 months). Three patients (6%) received external-beam radiotherapy alone, 8 patients (16%) received brachytherapy only, and 39 patients (78%) received combined external-beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy. Median dose of radiation to the recurrence was 60 Gy (range, 16-85 Gy). Overall survival was calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Endpoints were measured from the date of diagnosis of the vaginal recurrence. Median follow-up of survivors after recurrence was 53 months (range, 8-159 months). Results: The 5-year and 10-year disease-free and overall survivals were 68% and 55%, and 53% and 40%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, age (p = 0.0242), Grade 1 or 2 vs. Grade 3 tumor (p = 0.002), and size of recurrence (p < 0.001) were significant predictors of overall survival. All patients who had Grade 3 disease were dead by 3.6 years from the time of recurrence. Five patients experienced a Grade 3 or 4 complication. Conclusions: Patients treated with radiotherapy for an isolated vaginal recurrence can be cured in over 50% the cases. Radiotherapy is well tolerated, with a low risk of complications. Factors predictive of overall survival include tumor grade, patient age at recurrence, and tumor size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-504
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Recurrent


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