Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the potential therapeutic role of para-aortic lymphadenectomy (PAL) in high-risk patients with endometrial cancer.
Methods: We studied two groups of patients with endometrial cancer who underwent operation at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) during the interval 1984 to 1993: (1) 137 patients at high risk for para-aortic lymph node involvement (myometrial invasion >50%, palpable positive pelvic nodes, or positive adnexae), excluding stage IV disease, and (2) 51 patients with positive nodes (pelvic or para-aortic), excluding stage IV disease. By our definition, PAL required removal of five or more para-aortic nodes.
Results: In both groups, no significant difference existed between patients who had PAL (PAL+) and those who did not (PAL-) in regard to clinical or pathologic variables, percentage irradiated, or surgical or radiation complications. Among the 137 high-risk patients, the 5-year progression-free survival was 62% and the 5-year overall survival was 71% for the PAL- group compared with 77 and 85%, respectively, for the PAL+ group (P = 0.12 and 0.06, respectively). For the 51 patients with positive nodes, the 5-year progression-free survival and 5-year overall survival for the PAL- group were 36 and 42% compared with 76 and 77% for the PAL+ group (P = 0.02 and 0.05, respectively). Lymph node recurrences were detected in 37% of the PAL- patients but in none of the PAL+ patients (P = 0.01). Multivariate analysis suggested that submission to PAL was a cogent predictor of progression-free survival (odds ratio = 0.25; P = 0.01) and overall survival (odds ratio = 0.23; P = 0.006).
Conclusions: These results suggest a potential therapeutic role for formal PAL in endometrial cancer.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.