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Neoadjuvant radiotherapy and brachytherapy in endometrial cancer with gross cervical involvement: a CHIRENDO research group study


Background Historically, radical hysterectomy followed by adjuvant radiotherapy has been offered to patients with endometrial cancer who have gross cervical involvement; however, this approach is known to carry considerable morbidity. Neoadjuvant radiotherapy followed by extra-fascial hysterectomy has been proposed as an alternative treatment but has been poorly studied to date.

Objective To evaluate the locoregional control rate associated with neoadjuvant radiotherapy followed by extra-fascial hysterectomy.

Methods A retrospective cohort study of 30 patients with endometrial cancer with gross cervical involvement treated between May 2006 and January 2016 was performed. Eligible patients were those aged >18 years with non-metastatic endometrial adenocarcinoma and gross cervical disease treated with curative intent at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. Treatment protocol consisted of pelvic neoadjuvant radiotherapy and high-dose rate brachytherapy followed by extra-fascial hysterectomy. Kaplan-Meier curves were used for survival analysis.

Results The median age was 60 (range 37–82) and median body mass index was 32 kg/m2 (range 16–55). Twenty-four (80%) patients were diagnosed with a positive cervical/endocervical biopsy. Clinical staging confirmed 36.7% (n=11) as stage II, 20% (n=6) stage IIIB, 30% (n=9) stage IIIC1, and 13.3% (n=4) stage IIIC2. Seventy-seven per cent (n=23) of patients had an endometrioid histology. Locally advanced disease was identified by imaging alone in six patients. Rates of parametrial, adnexal, vaginal, and nodal invasion were 10% (n=3), 6.7% (n=2), 13.3% (n=4), and 43.3% (n=13) at diagnosis, respectively. All patients completed pelvic radiotherapy (13.3% extended field) and 90% received brachytherapy. Twenty per cent (n=6) of surgeries were performed using minimal invasive technique. On surgical specimen, 63.3% (n=19) had complete cervical response, 90% (n=27) had negative margins, and 10% (n=3) had residual nodal involvement. Median follow-up time was 62 months (range 1–120). Six recurrences were identified; all except one involved distant failure, and two with locoregional failure. Five-year locoregional control rate, disease-free, overall, and disease-specific survival were 90.5%, 78.5%, 92.6%, and 96.2%, respectively. Two patients (6.7%) had grade 3+ acute radiation-related complications (all grade 3). Grade 3+ post-operative morbidity was noted in 2 (6.7%) patients.

Conclusions Neoadjuvant radiotherapy followed by extra-fascial hysterectomy offers good locoregional control with low treatment-related morbidity in patients with endometrial cancer with overt cervical involvement.

  • endometrium
  • postoperative complications
  • radiotherapy
  • intensity-modulated

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