Background: Uterine sarcomas are rare tumors. Until now, no data on the treatment of recurrent or advanced uterine sarcomas using concurrent radiochemotherapy (RCT) has been available.
Patients and methods: From 01/1997 to 03/2004, seven patients with locally recurrent (n = 6) or locally advanced uterine sarcomas (n = 1) received concurrent RCT after tumor surgery (R1/2 resection in 3/7 patients). A total radiation dose of 45 Gy was applied in single doses of 1.8 Gy using an external-beam technique; in addition, three to four intracavitary doses of 5 Gy were applied. Concurrent chemotherapy was generally administered as follows: 1.2 g/m(2) ifosfamide on days 1-5 and 29-33 in combination with 50 or 40 mg/m(2) adriamycin on days 2 and 30. 3/7 patients received further cycles of chemotherapy. The median follow- up was 35 months.
Results: All recurrences (before RCT) were localized either in the vagina or in or directly proximal to the vaginal stump. The main side effects of RCT were hemotoxicity (grade 3: n = 3/7; grade 4: n = 4/7; neutropenic fever n = 1/7) and diarrhea (grade 3: n = 5/7). At the median follow-up (35 months), 4/7 patients had recurrences (one local recurrence; one lymph node recurrence outside the irradiated field, two distant metastases). Local control in the irradiated field was 80% +/- 18% after 3 years. Disease-free survival calculated according to Kaplan-Meier was 57% +/- 19% after 3 years. Presently, 5/7 patients are still alive, corresponding to a 3-year survival rate of 83% +/- 15%.
Conclusion: Concurrent RCT shows good local effectiveness with a good long-term survival. Further evaluation in phase II studies is recommended.