A Multi-Institutional Analysis of Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Radiation Sequence in Women With Stage IIIC Endometrial Cancer

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International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics


PURPOSE: Our purpose was to evaluate the effect of sequence and type of adjuvant therapy for patients with stage IIIC endometrial carcinoma (EC) on outcomes.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: In a multi-institutional retrospective cohort study, patients with stage IIIC EC who had surgical staging and received both adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy (RT) were included. Adjuvant treatment regimens were classified as adjuvant chemotherapy followed by sequential RT (upfront chemo), which was predominant sequence; RT with concurrent chemotherapy followed by chemotherapy (concurrent); systemic chemotherapy before and after RT (sandwich); adjuvant RT followed by chemotherapy (upfront RT); or chemotherapy concurrent with vaginal cuff brachytherapy alone (chemo-brachy). Overall survival (OS) and recurrence-free survival (RFS) rates were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS: A total of 686 eligible patients were included with a median follow-up of 45.3 months. The estimated 5-year OS and RFS rates were 74% and 66%, respectively. The sequence and type of adjuvant therapy were not correlated with OS or RFS (adjusted P = .68 and .84, respectively). On multivariate analysis, black race, nonendometrioid histology, grade 3 tumor, stage IIIC2, and presence of adnexal and cervical involvement were associated with worse OS and RFS (all P < .05). Regardless of the sequence of treatment, the most common site of first recurrence was distant metastasis (20.1%). Vaginal only, pelvic only, and paraortic lymph node (PALN) recurrences occurred in 11 (1.6%),15 (2.2 %), and 43 (6.3 %) patients, respectively. Brachytherapy alone was associated with a higher rate of PALN recurrence (15%) compared with external beam radiation therapy (5%) P < .0001.

CONCLUSIONS: The sequence and type of combined adjuvant therapy did not affect OS or RFS rates. Brachytherapy alone was associated with a higher rate of PALN recurrence, emphasizing the role of nodal radiation for stage IIIC EC. The vast proportion of recurrences were distant despite systemic chemotherapy, highlighting the need for novel regimens.

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ePub ahead of print