Hormone therapy in advanced and recurrent endometrial cancer: a systematic review

Int J Gynecol Cancer. Sep-Oct 2007;17(5):964-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1438.2007.00897.x. Epub 2007 Apr 18.


Endometrial cancer is a hormone-dependent malignancy, and the majority has a precursor phase of endometrial hyperplasia. Histologic subtypes have been recognized with differing natural history. The relationship between hormone response, histology, and molecular profile is not established, but the relevant biology is summarized. This study was a systematic review of the literature to identify which populations should be considered for hormone interventions. Systematic searches were carried out in the English literature for randomized controlled trials and phase II studies of hormone interventions in endometrial cancer. Five randomized trials and 29 phase II studies were identified comprising a total of 2471 patients. In previously untreated patients with grade 1 (G1) or G2 tumors, the response rate for progestogens and the progression-free survival is in the range of 11-56% and 2.5-14 months, respectively. Higher response rates are seen in progesterone receptor-positive cases. Phase II studies comprise the majority of the data and many are of poor quality. There was considerable heterogeneity in patient selection, prior treatment, and type of regimen, and meta-analysis was not possible. G3 or G4 toxicity was less than 5%. We conclude that hormone receptor assessments should be carried out in all patients entered on clinical trials and may aid clinical management in selected cases. Receptor-negative status should not be an absolute contraindication to hormone intervention. Integration of hormone treatment with conventional chemotherapy and growth factor-targeted therapy needs to be explored.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Disease Progression
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal