Radiation Therapy for Endometrial Cancer: An American Society for Radiation Oncology Clinical Practice Guideline

Pract Radiat Oncol. 2023 Jan-Feb;13(1):41-65. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2022.09.002. Epub 2022 Oct 22.


Purpose: With the results of several recently published clinical trials, this guideline informs on the use of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) and systemic therapy in the treatment of endometrial cancer. Updated evidence-based recommendations provide indications for adjuvant RT and the associated techniques, the utilization and sequencing of adjuvant systemic therapies, and the effect of surgical staging techniques and molecular tumor profiling.

Methods: The American Society for Radiation Oncology convened a multidisciplinary task force to address 6 key questions that focused on the adjuvant management of patients with endometrial cancer. The key questions emphasized the (1) indications for adjuvant RT, (2) RT techniques, target volumes, dose fractionation, and treatment planning aims, (3) indications for systemic therapy, (4) sequencing of systemic therapy with RT, (5) effect of lymph node assessment on utilization of adjuvant therapy, and (6) effect of molecular tumor profiling on utilization of adjuvant therapy. Recommendations were based on a systematic literature review and created using a predefined consensus-building methodology and system for quality of evidence grading and strength of recommendation.

Results: The task force recommends RT (either vaginal brachytherapy or external beam RT) be given based on the patient's clinical-pathologic risk factors to reduce risk of vaginal and/or pelvic recurrence. When external beam RT is delivered, intensity modulated RT with daily image guided RT is recommended to reduce acute and late toxicity. Chemotherapy is recommended for patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage I to II with high-risk histologies and those with FIGO stage III to IVA with any histology. When sequencing chemotherapy and RT, there is no prospective data to support an optimal sequence. Sentinel lymph node mapping is recommended over pelvic lymphadenectomy for surgical nodal staging. Data on sentinel lymph node pathologic ultrastaging status supports that patients with isolated tumor cells be treated as node negative and adjuvant therapy based on uterine risk factors and patients with micrometastases be treated as node positive. The available data on molecular characterization of endometrial cancer are compelling and should be increasingly considered when making recommendations for adjuvant therapy.

Conclusions: These recommendations guide evidence-based best clinical practices on the use of adjuvant therapy for endometrial cancer.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Brachytherapy* / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Radiation Oncology*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated*
  • United States