Background: Preoperative risk stratification is essential in tailoring endometrial cancer treatment, and biomarkers predicting lymph node metastasis and aggressive disease are aspired in clinical practice. DNA ploidy assessment in hysterectomy specimens is a well-established prognostic marker. DNA ploidy assessment in preoperative curettage specimens is less studied, and in particular in relation to the occurrence of lymph node metastasis.
Methods: Curettage image cytometry DNA ploidy in relation to established clinicopathological variables and outcome was investigated in 785 endometrial carcinoma patients prospectively included in the MoMaTEC multicentre trial.
Results: Diploid curettage status was found in 72.0%, whereas 28.0% were non-diploid. Non-diploid status significantly correlated with traditional aggressive postoperative clinicopathological features, and was an independent predictor of lymph node metastasis among FIGO stage I-III patients in multivariate analysis (OR 1.94, P=0.033). Non-diploid status was related to shorter disease-specific survival (5-year DSS of 74.4% vs 88.8% for diploid curettage, P<0.001). When stratifying by FIGO stage and lymph node status, the prognostic effect remained. However, in multivariate regression analysis, preoperative histological risk classification was a stronger predictor of DSS than DNA ploidy.
Conclusions: Non-diploid curettage is significantly associated with aggressive clinicopathological phenotype, lymph node metastasis, and poor survival in endometrial cancer. The prognostic effect was also observed among subgroups with (presumably) less aggressive traits, such as low FIGO stage and negative lymph node status. Our results indicate curettage DNA ploidy as a possible supplement to existing parameters used to tailor surgical treatment.