Systemic therapy in metastatic or recurrent endometrial cancer

Cancer Treat Rev. 2007 Apr;33(2):177-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2006.10.007. Epub 2006 Dec 29.


Endometrial cancer is one of the most common gynecologic malignancies. In patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer survival is greatly diminished. Hormonal therapy and chemotherapy play a major role in the management of advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer. Endocrine therapy provides a 10-20% response rate (RR) and survival of less than 1 year. Combination chemotherapy offers a RR of 40-60%, but the survival is still less than 1 year. The combination of cisplatin plus doxorubicin is the most commonly used regimen, but carboplatin plus paclitaxel represents an efficacious, low toxicity regimen in advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer. The addition of paclitaxel to cisplatin plus doxorubicin appears to improve response rates, progression-free survival and overall survival, but to worsen toxicity profile. At this time the focus of future research should be on the use of novel targeted agents, since it is unlikely that further significant advances could be made with chemotherapy and endocrine therapy. mTOR inhibitors represent a promising therapeutic strategy for endometrial cancer. Anti-HER-2/neu targeted therapy might be a novel and attractive therapeutic option in patients with biologically aggressive variants (uterine serous papillary carcinoma, clear cell carcinoma) of endometrial cancer. Research in better understanding the signal transduction pathways in endometrial carcinogenesis will allow the development of specific and selective molecularly targeted inhibitors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents