Adjuvant chemotherapy in endometrial cancer


The role of adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) is controversial in endometrial carcinoma (EC). Surgery alone is usually curative for women who are at a low risk of disease recurrence. The treatment of EC following surgical staging is based on the risk of relapse, which is defined by the cancer stage at diagnosis, histology of the tumor and other prognostic factors such as grade differentiation, the presence of substantial lymphovascular invasion (LVSI), or depth of myometrial invasion (MI). External beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and/or vaginal brachytherapy (VBT) improved local control and are used as adjuvant treatment for early-stage disease. The role of adjuvant CT is controversial in early-stage EC, and there is no uniform approach to the treatment of women with stage III EC or early-staged non-endometrioid EC. Available evidence did not support the indication of adjuvant CT in stage I–II endometroid EC. In those cases at higher risk of relapse, defined as grade 3 tumors with substantial (no focal) LVSI, specifically with deep MI or cervical involvement, could be considered. Adjuvant CT should be administered to stage III EC patients. When RT is indicated (extensive lymph node involvement or deep MI), sequential treatment with RT or “sandwich” regimen may be considered rather than concurrent CRT. The patients with stage IA MI or IB USC may be offered adjuvant CT alone or in combination with VBT, whereas in stage II uterine serous carcinoma patients adding EBRT may be reasonable. Management approach for patients with stage IA without MI USC who underwent a comprehensive surgery remains controversial, and surveillance alone or CT plus VBT is an appropriate option. Early-stage clear-cell carcinoma patients might not benefit for adjuvant CT, but stage III patients might benefit from the combination of CT and EBRT. Stage I–III uterine carcinosarcoma patients might be offered adjuvant CT followed by RT or as a “sandwich” régimen.

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Gómez-Raposo, C., Merino Salvador, M., Aguayo Zamora, C. et al. Adjuvant chemotherapy in endometrial cancer. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol (2020).

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  • Endometrial cancer
  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Uterine serous carcinoma
  • Uterine clear-cell carcinoma
  • Uterine carcinosarcoma