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Adjuvant Treatment and Clinical Trials in Elderly Patients With Endometrial Cancer: A Time for Change?
  1. Leslie H. Clark, MD*,
  2. Amanda L. Jackson, MD*,
  3. Paola A. Gehrig, MD*,
  4. Victoria Bae-Jump, MD, PhD*,
  5. Linda Van Le, MD* and
  6. Emily M. Ko, MD, MSCR
  1. *Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lineberger Cancer Center, Chapel Hill, NC; and
  2. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Leslie H. Clark, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 170 Manning Dr, B103 POB; CB#7572 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7572. E-mail:


Objectives The aim of the study were to evaluate the gap between recommended and received adjuvant therapy in elderly patients with endometrial cancer (EC) and to determine the percent of women 70 years and older who would meet enrollment criteria for representative Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) trials.

Methods and Materials An institutional review board approved retrospective chart review of all EC cases from a tertiary care institution from 2005 to 2010 was performed. Clinical, surgical, and pathologic data were abstracted from electronic medical records. Gynecologic Oncology Group protocols 249, 209, and 229L were selected as representative national EC trials. Patients were evaluated for eligibility by each protocol’s criteria.

Results Twenty-six percent (280/1064) of patients with EC were older than 70 years. More than 60% (181/280) of elderly patients with EC were recommended to undergo adjuvant therapy. By therapy type, 64% (48/75) of elderly patients who were recommended adjuvant radiation received it, 53% (49/92) of elderly patients who were recommended combination chemotherapy and radiation received it, and 29% (4/14) of elderly patients who were recommended chemotherapy received it. In evaluating enrollment criteria for GOG 249, 30% (40/134) of pathologically eligible patients would have been eliminated for medical clearance; for GOG 209, 31% (26/86) would have been eliminated, and for GOG 229L, 9% (4/45) would have been eliminated purely for medical reasons.

Conclusions More adjuvant treatment is recommended in the elderly patients because of a higher incidence of advanced disease and aggressive histopathology. Approximately half of the elderly patients who were recommended treatment actually received it. In addition, clinical trial data are limited for elderly patients because approximately one third of the women aged 70 years and older who meet pathologic enrollment criteria for trials were excluded because of complex medical disease.

  • Elderly
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Clinical trial
  • Adjuvant treatment
  • Chemotherapy

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.