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Endometrial Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information About Endometrial Cancer


Another group identified aneuploidy and a high S-phase fraction as predictive of poor prognosis.[15] A Gynecologic Oncology Group study related surgical-pathologic parameters and postoperative treatment to recurrence-free interval and recurrence site. For patients without extrauterine spread, the greatest determinants of recurrence were grade 3 histology and deep myometrial invasion. In this study, the frequency of recurrence was greatly increased with positive pelvic nodes, adnexal metastasis, positive peritoneal cytology, capillary space involvement, involvement of the isthmus or cervix, and, particularly, positive para-aortic nodes (includes all grades and depth of invasion). Of the cases with aortic node metastases, 98% were in patients with positive pelvic nodes, intra-abdominal metastases, or tumor invasion of the outer 33% of the myometrium.[16,17]

When the only evidence of extrauterine spread is positive peritoneal cytology, the influence on outcome is unclear. The value of therapy directed at this cytologic finding is not well founded.[18,19,20,21,22,23] The preponderance of evidence, however, would suggest that other extrauterine disease must be present before additional postoperative therapy is considered.

One report found progesterone receptor levels to be the single most important prognostic indicator of 3-year survival in clinical stage I and II disease. Patients with progesterone receptor levels higher than 100 had a 3-year disease-free survival of 93% compared with 36% for a level lower than 100. Only cervical involvement and peritoneal cytology were significant prognostic variables after adjusting for progesterone receptor levels.[24] Other reports confirm the importance of hormone receptor status as an independent prognostic factor.[25] Additionally, immunohistochemical staining of paraffin-embedded tissue for both estrogen and progesterone receptors has been shown to correlate with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics grade as well as survival.[26,27,28] On the basis of these data, progesterone and estrogen receptors, assessed either by biochemical or immunohistochemical methods, should be included, when possible, in the evaluation of stage I and II patients. The following have also been found to be prognostic indicators of clinical outcome:[28]

  • Oncogene expression.
  • DNA ploidy.
  • The fraction of cells in S-phase.

For example, overexpression of the Her-2/neu oncogene has been associated with a poor overall prognosis.[29] A general review of prognostic factors has been published.[30]

Related Summaries

Other PDQ summaries containing information related to endometrial (uterine corpus) cancer include the following:

  • Endometrial Cancer Prevention
  • Endometrial Cancer Screening
  • Uterine Sarcoma Treatment


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  15. Friberg LG, Norén H, Delle U: Prognostic value of DNA ploidy and S-phase fraction in endometrial cancer stage I and II: a prospective 5-year survival study. Gynecol Oncol 53 (1): 64-9, 1994.
  16. Morrow CP, Bundy BN, Kurman RJ, et al.: Relationship between surgical-pathological risk factors and outcome in clinical stage I and II carcinoma of the endometrium: a Gynecologic Oncology Group study. Gynecol Oncol 40 (1): 55-65, 1991.
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  18. Ambros RA, Kurman RJ: Combined assessment of vascular and myometrial invasion as a model to predict prognosis in stage I endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the uterine corpus. Cancer 69 (6): 1424-31, 1992.
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  20. Piver MS, Recio FO, Baker TR, et al.: A prospective trial of progesterone therapy for malignant peritoneal cytology in patients with endometrial carcinoma. Gynecol Oncol 47 (3): 373-6, 1992.
  21. Kadar N, Homesley HD, Malfetano JH: Positive peritoneal cytology is an adverse factor in endometrial carcinoma only if there is other evidence of extrauterine disease. Gynecol Oncol 46 (2): 145-9, 1992.
  22. Lurain JR: The significance of positive peritoneal cytology in endometrial cancer. Gynecol Oncol 46 (2): 143-4, 1992.
  23. Lurain JR, Rice BL, Rademaker AW, et al.: Prognostic factors associated with recurrence in clinical stage I adenocarcinoma of the endometrium. Obstet Gynecol 78 (1): 63-9, 1991.
  24. Ingram SS, Rosenman J, Heath R, et al.: The predictive value of progesterone receptor levels in endometrial cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 17 (1): 21-7, 1989.
  25. Creasman WT: Prognostic significance of hormone receptors in endometrial cancer. Cancer 71 (4 Suppl): 1467-70, 1993.
  26. Carcangiu ML, Chambers JT, Voynick IM, et al.: Immunohistochemical evaluation of estrogen and progesterone receptor content in 183 patients with endometrial carcinoma. Part I: Clinical and histologic correlations. Am J Clin Pathol 94 (3): 247-54, 1990.
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  29. Hetzel DJ, Wilson TO, Keeney GL, et al.: HER-2/neu expression: a major prognostic factor in endometrial cancer. Gynecol Oncol 47 (2): 179-85, 1992.
  30. Homesley HD, Zaino R: Endometrial cancer: prognostic factors. Semin Oncol 21 (1): 71-8, 1994.

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Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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