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Preoperative Identification of Synchronous Ovarian and Endometrial Cancers: The Importance of Appropriate Workup
  1. Fieke M. E. Broeders, MD*,
  2. Anneke A. M. van der Wurff, MD, PhD,
  3. Johanna M. A. Pijnenborg, MD, PhD and
  4. M. Caroline Vos, MD*
  1. * Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology,
  2. Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pathology, St Elisabeth Hospital; and
  3. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, TweeSteden Hospital, Tilburg, The Netherlands.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to M. Caroline Vos, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St Elisabeth Hospital, PO Box 90151, 5000 LC, Tilburg, The Netherlands. E-mail: c.vos{at}


Objective For treatment of patients with both endometrial and ovarian cancer, it is important to discriminate between 2 primary tumors and metastatic disease. Currently, criteria are based on postoperative findings. The aim of this study was to determine whether clinical parameters can discriminate between these groups preoperatively and whether a practical guideline could improve appropriate workup and treatment.

Methods A total of 45 patients with a diagnosis of both endometrium and ovarian cancer between 1998 and 2009 and were included for analysis. Clinical and pathological data were obtained, and initial CA-125 was registered; patients had a diagnosis of 2 primary tumors or tumors with metastasis. All patients were reclassified according to workup and treatment.

Results Patients with synchronous primary tumors were significantly younger, presented more often with abnormal uterine bleeding, and had a lower initial CA-125 than both metastatic groups (P < 0.05). With age and CA-125 included in a polytomic logistic regression model, 83.3% of diagnoses could be classified correctly. In 15 of 17 patients presented with adnexal mass, workup was incomplete owing to lack on information of the endometrial status. In patients presenting with abnormal uterine bleeding, 13 of 21 patients had an incomplete workup leading to staging laparotomy secondary to initial surgical treatment in 2 patients.

Conclusions Patients with synchronous endometrial and ovarian cancers are young, often present with abnormal uterine bleeding and have a low initial CA-125. Adequate workup with attention to both ovarian and endometrial status, especially in young patients with a wish to preserve fertility, is important to make the right decision for treatment.

  • Endometrial cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Synchronous primary tumors
  • Practical guideline
  • Endometrial sampling

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.