Interval between hysterectomy and start of radiation treatment is predictive of recurrence in patients with endometrial carcinoma

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2014 Mar 15;88(4):866-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.11.247. Epub 2014 Jan 17.


Purpose: Adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) has been shown to improve local control in patients with endometrial carcinoma. We analyzed the impact of the time interval between hysterectomy and RT initiation in patients with endometrial carcinoma.

Methods and materials: In this institutional review board-approved study, we identified 308 patients with endometrial carcinoma who received adjuvant RT after hysterectomy. All patients had undergone hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and pelvic and para-aortic lymph node evaluation from 1988 to 2010. Patients' demographics, pathologic features, and treatments were compared. The time interval between hysterectomy and the start of RT was calculated. The effects of time interval on recurrence-free (RFS), disease-specific (DSS), and overall survival (OS) were calculated. Following univariate analysis, multivariate modeling was performed.

Results: The median age and follow-up for the study cohort was 65 years and 72 months, respectively. Eighty-five percent of the patients had endometrioid carcinoma. RT was delivered with high-dose-rate brachytherapy alone (29%), pelvic RT alone (20%), or both (51%). Median time interval to start RT was 42 days (range, 21-130 days). A total of 269 patients (74%) started their RT <9 weeks after undergoing hysterectomy (group 1) and 26% started ≥ 9 weeks after surgery (group 2). There were a total of 43 recurrences. Tumor recurrence was significantly associated with treatment delay of ≥ 9 weeks, with 5-year RFS of 90% for group 1 compared to only 39% for group 2 (P<.001). On multivariate analysis, RT delay of ≥ 9 weeks (P<.001), presence of lymphovascular space involvement (P=.001), and higher International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics grade (P=.012) were independent predictors of recurrence. In addition, RT delay of ≥ 9 weeks was an independent significant predictor for worse DSS and OS (P=.001 and P=.01, respectively).

Conclusions: Delay in administering adjuvant RT after hysterectomy was associated with worse survival endpoints. Our data suggest that shorter time interval between hysterectomy and start of RT may be beneficial.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brachytherapy
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / mortality
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy* / mortality
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local* / mortality
  • Ovariectomy
  • Pelvis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Time-to-Treatment*