Trends in the utilization of adjuvant vaginal cuff brachytherapy and/or external beam radiation treatment in stage I and II endometrial cancer: a surveillance, epidemiology, and end-results study

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 May 1;83(1):178-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.05.052. Epub 2011 Oct 17.


Purpose: The optimal adjuvant radiation treatment for endometrial carcinoma (EC) remains controversial. Adjuvant vaginal cuff brachytherapy (VB) has emerged as an increasingly common treatment modality. However, the time trends for using VB, external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), or combined therapy (VB+EBRT) have not been well characterized. We therefore examined the utilization trends of VB, EBRT, and VB+EBRT for adjuvant RT in International Federation of Gynecologic Oncology (FIGO) stage I and II EC over time.

Methods and materials: We evaluated treatment patterns for 48,122 patients with EC diagnosed between January 1995 and December 2005, using the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) public use database. Chi-squared tests were used to assess differences by radiation type (VB, EBRT, and VB+EBRT) and various demographic and clinical variables.

Results: Analyses were limited to 9,815 patients (20.4%) with EC who met the inclusion criteria. Among women who received adjuvant RT, the proportion receiving VB increased yearly (12.9% in 1995 compared to 32.8% in 2005 (p < 0.0001). The increasing use of VB was proportional to the decreasing use of EBRT (56.1% in 1995 to 45.8% in 2005; p < 0.0001) and VB+EBRT (31.0% in 1995 to 21.4% in 2005; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: This population-based report demonstrates an increasing trend in the use of VB in the adjuvant setting after hysterectomy for treatment of women with FIGO stage I-II EC. VB alone appears to be replacing pelvic EBRT and VB+EBRT therapy in the management of stage I-II EC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Brachytherapy / methods
  • Brachytherapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Brachytherapy / trends*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / trends
  • SEER Program*
  • United States
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / radiotherapy