Megestrol and Tamoxifen in Patients With Advanced Endometrial Cancer: An Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Study (E4882)

Am J Clin Oncol. 2001 Feb;24(1):43-6. doi: 10.1097/00000421-200102000-00007.


To investigate the effect of adding tamoxifen to megestrol in the hormonal therapy for advanced endometrial cancer, 66 patients were entered in this study. Initially, 41 patients were randomized to either the standard progestin therapy of megestrol or to the combination of megestrol and tamoxifen between October 1982 and October 1984. The megestrol arm was terminated because of poor accrual and 25 patients were directly assigned to the combination arm. Among the 20 eligible cases on the megestrol arm, the response rate of 20% consisted of I complete response and 3 partial responses. The response rate on the megestrol plus tamoxifen arm was 19% with 1 (2%) complete response and 7 (17%) partial responses among 42 eligible cases. The median survival times were 12.0 months and 8.6 months, respectively. Only mild and moderate toxicities were observed on megestrol compared with more toxic complications observed on the combination of megestrol and tamoxifen, including a life-threatening case of pulmonary embolism. Although we could not carry out a comparative evaluation as intended, we conclude that the combination of megestrol and tamoxifen offers no clinical advantage over megestrol alone in the treatment of advanced endometrial carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Megestrol / administration & dosage
  • Megestrol / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survival Rate
  • Tamoxifen / administration & dosage


  • Tamoxifen
  • Megestrol