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Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Mar;132(3):578-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.01.007. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Efficacy of contemporary chemotherapy in stage IIIC endometrial cancer: a histologic dichotomy.

Author information

  • 1Division of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. Electronic address:
  • 2Division of Gynecologic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
  • 3Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
  • 4Division of Anatomic Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
  • 5Division of Medical Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.



Treatment failures in stage IIIC endometrial carcinoma (EC) are predominantly due to occult extrapelvic metastases (EPM). The impact of chemotherapy on occult EPM was investigated according to grade (G), G1/2EC vs G3EC.


All surgical-stage IIIC EC cases from January 1, 1999, through December 31, 2008, from Mayo Clinic were included. Patient-, disease-, and treatment-specific risk factors were assessed for association with overall survival, cause-specific survival, and extrapelvic disease-free survival (DFS) using Cox proportional hazards regression.


109 cases met criteria, with 92 (84%) having systematic lymphadenectomy (>10 pelvic and >5 paraaortic lymph nodes resected). In patients with documented recurrence sites, occult EPM accounted for 88%. Among G1/2EC cases (n=48), the sole independent predictor of extrapelvic DFS was grade 2 histology (hazard ratio [HR], 0.28; 95% CI, 0.08-0.91; P=.03) while receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy approached significance (HR 0.13; 95% CI, 0.02, 1.01; P=.0511). The 5-year extrapelvic DFS with and without adjuvant chemotherapy was 93% and 54%, respectively (log-rank, P=.02). Among G3EC (n=61), the sole independent predictor of extrapelvic DFS was lymphovascular space involvement (HR, 2.63; 95% CI, 1.16-5.97; P=.02). Adjuvant chemotherapy did not affect occult EPM in G3EC; the 5-year extrapelvic DFS for G3EC with and without adjuvant chemotherapy was 43% and 42%, respectively (log-rank, P=.91).


Chemotherapy improves extrapelvic DFS for stage IIIC G1/2EC but not stage IIIC G3EC. Future efforts should focus on prospectively assessing the impact of chemotherapy on DFS in G3EC and developing innovative phase I and II trials of novel systemic therapies for advanced G3EC.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Chemotherapy efficacy; Occult extrapelvic metastases; Stage IIIC endometrial cancer; Survival

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