Tamoxifen in the treatment of advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma: a Gynecologic Oncology Group study

J Clin Oncol. 2001 Jan 15;19(2):364-7. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2001.19.2.364.


Purpose: In two large Gynecologic Oncology Group studies of patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma and no previous systemic therapy, progestins have demonstrated activity against advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma with response rates between 15% and 25%. Tamoxifen has been reported as variously active or inactive with or without previous systemic therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine whether tamoxifen exhibits enough activity in patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma, who have not received systemic therapy, to warrant a phase III trial.

Patients and methods: Sixty-eight eligible patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial carcinoma received oral tamoxifen 20 mg bid until toxicity was unacceptable or disease progressed.

Results: Three complete (4%) and four partial (6%) responses were observed for an overall response rate of 10% (90% confidence interval [CI], 5.7% to 17.9%). Patients with tumors that were more anaplastic tended to respond less frequently. The median progression-free survival for all 68 eligible patients was 1.9 months (90% CI, 1.7 to 3.2 months). The median survival was 8.8 months (90% CI, 7.0 to 10.1 months).

Conclusion: Tamoxifen demonstrated modest activity at best against endometrial carcinoma and does not warrant further investigation as a single agent for this disease. Ongoing trials will assess the sequential use of tamoxifen and progestational agents.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Tamoxifen