Introduction/Background To assess the clinical efficacy of the levonorgestrel intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) in the treatment of early-stage endometrial cancer in elderly morbidly obese women, whose multiple co-morbidities made the standard surgical treatment too risky to undertake.
Methodology A retrospective review was conducted and case series reports were prepared of all women diagnosed with endometrial cancer, from April 2011 to December 2016 at the Queen’s Hospital, London, to identify women unfit for surgery and treated with the LNG-IUS.
Results Out of 438 women with endometrial cancer, Eight women with early-stage endometrial cancer were deemed unfit for surgery and underwent treatment with the LNG-IUS. All had grade 1 endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma, radiologically staged as 1a. Four women died of their co-morbidities, not related to endometrial cancer. One of them had 68 months of progression-free survival before death due to co-morbidities. One patient required a hysterectomy after 32 months of treatment with LNG-IUS and oral progestogens due to heavy vaginal bleeding. Three women have continued the LNG-IUS treatment with no evidence of progressive disease symptoms till date at a mean follow-up of 35.7 months.
Conclusion For women with multiple co-morbidities, the LNG-IUS offers an effective and safe treatment for early-stage, low-grade endometrial cancer, with no cases of symptomatic progression reported in our case series. In the frail and elderly, where the quality of life is of paramount importance, surgical treatment may not offer additional long-term survival benefits.
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