Clear-cell and papillary serous cancer: treatment options

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2001 Jun;15(3):433-46. doi: 10.1053/beog.2000.0187.


Clear-cell carcinoma (CCC) and serous papillary carcinoma of the endometrium (UPSC) are rare subtypes of endometrial carcinoma (10%). The histological diagnosis can be made on the dilation and curettage specimens in both types in a very high percentage of the cases. This is important in the planning of treatment. CCC and UPSC are associated with about 50% of all relapses occurring in endometrial carcinoma, and the 5-year survival rate is, on average, 42% and 27% respectively. Surgico-pathological stage, age, and vessel invasion are independent prognostic factors for both groups. The recurrence rate is extremely high, and the most frequent extra-pelvic sites of relapse are the upper abdomen, lungs and liver. Stage Ia patients treated with complete surgical staging alone have a low risk of relapse and need not be offered adjuvant systemic therapy or pelvic radiation. The treatment of patients with CCC and UPSC stage Ib, Ic, II and III should include radical debulking surgery and some form of adjuvant therapy, but it is not clear which type is most effective. Adjuvant pelvic radiotherapy plus intracavitary radiotherapy is usually given in early-stage disease and pelvic radio therapy/or whole abdomen irradiation plus adjuvant systemic chemotherapy (PAC) in advanced disease. However, we are urgently waiting for a large prospective randomized study to compare both modalities. Paclitaxel, alone or in combination, is currently being tested in phase II studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / therapy*
  • Age Factors
  • Aneuploidy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Papillary / secondary
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Papillary / therapy*
  • Dilatation and Curettage
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Female
  • Genes, p53
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Lung Neoplasms / secondary
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Treatment Outcome