General Information About Uterine Sarcoma
The prognosis for women with uterine sarcoma is primarily dependent on the extent of disease at the time of diagnosis. For women with carcinosarcomas, significant predictors of metastatic disease at initial surgery include isthmic or cervical location, lymphatic vascular space invasion, serous and clear cell histology, and grade 2 or 3 carcinoma. These factors, along with adnexal spread, lymph node metastases, tumor size, peritoneal cytologic findings, and depth of myometrial invasion correlate with progression-free interval. The presence or absence of stromal heterologous elements, the types of such elements, the grade of the stromal components, and the mitotic activity of the stromal components bear no relationship to the presence or absence of metastases at surgical exploration. However, in one study, women with a well-differentiated sarcomatous component or carcinosarcomas had significantly longer progression-free intervals than those with moderately to poorly differentiated sarcomas for the homologous and heterologous types. The recurrence rate was 44% for homologous tumors and 63% for heterologous tumors. The type of heterologous sarcoma had no effect on the progression-free interval.
For women with leiomyosarcomas, some investigators consider tumor size to be the most important prognostic factor; women with tumors greater than 5.0 cm in maximum diameter have a poor prognosis. However, in a Gynecologic Oncology Group study, the mitotic index was the only factor significantly related to progression-free interval. Leiomyosarcomas matched for other known prognostic factors may be more aggressive than their carcinosarcoma counterparts. The 5-year survival rate for women with stage I disease, which is confined to the corpus, is approximately 50% versus 0% to 20% for the remaining stages.
Surgery alone can be curative if the malignancy is contained within the uterus. The value of pelvic radiation therapy is not established. Current studies consist primarily of phase II chemotherapy trials for patients with advanced disease. Adjuvant chemotherapy following complete resection for patients with stage I or II disease was not established to be effective in a randomized trial. Yet, other nonrandomized trials have reported improved survival following adjuvant chemotherapy with or without radiation therapy.[11,12,13]
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