Recurrent Endometrial Cancer: Local and Systemic Treatment Options

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Dec 14;13(24):6275. doi: 10.3390/cancers13246275.


The treatment of recurrent endometrial cancer is a challenge. Because of earlier treatments and the site of locoregional recurrence, in the vaginal vault or pelvis, morbidity can be high. A total of about 4 to 20% of the patients with endometrial cancer develop a locoregional recurrence, mostly among patients with locally advanced disease. The treatment options are dependent on previous treatments and the site of recurrence. Local and locoregional recurrences can be treated curatively with surgery or (chemo)radiotherapy with acceptable toxicity and control rates. Distant recurrences can be treated with palliative systemic therapy, i.e., first-line chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. Based on the tumor characteristics and molecular profile, there can be a role for immunotherapy. The evidence on targeted therapy is limited, with no approved treatment in the current guidelines. In selected cases, there might be an indication for local treatment in oligometastatic disease. Because of the novel techniques in radiotherapy, disease control can often be achieved at limited toxicity. Further studies are warranted to analyze the survival outcome and toxicity of newer treatment strategies. Patient selection is very important in deciding which treatment is of most benefit, and better prediction models based on the patient- and tumor characteristics are necessary.

Keywords: endometrial cancer; hormonal therapy; oligometastases; radiotherapy; recurrence; surgery; systemic treatment; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review