Conservative re-treatment of women with atypical endometrial hyperplasia and early endometrial carcinoma: We can hope, at least

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2024 May;165(2):542-551. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.15146. Epub 2023 Sep 29.


Background: In women with recurrent disease who were conservatively treated for atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH) and early endometrial carcinoma (EEC), the reasons why conservative treatment was chosen persist and outcomes of performing a conservative re-treatment are unclear, as pooled estimates on oncologic outcomes of such a re-treatment are lacking.

Objectives: To provide pooled estimates of oncologic outcomes of conservative re-treatment in women with recurrent AEH or EC.

Search strategy: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed by searching six electronic databases from their inception to March 2022.

Selection criteria: Studies that allowed extraction of data about oncologic outcomes of conservative re-treatment of women with recurrent AEH and EEC after a conservative treatment.

Data collection and analysis: Pooled prevalence of complete response (CR), poor response (PR), and recurrence after conservative re-treatment was calculated.

Main results: Fifteen studies (12 retrospective and 3 prospective) with 492 women (42.1% AEH and 57.9% EEC) were included in the systematic review, and 10 studies (8 retrospective and 2 prospective) were suitable for the meta-analysis. Pooled prevalence was 85.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 77.0%-91.0%) for CR, 14.7% (95% CI 9.0%-23.0%) for PR, and 40.4% (95% CI 15.5%-71.4%) for recurrence.

Conclusions: Conservative re-treatment in AEH or EC recurrent women has a high CR rate and acceptable recurrence rate that might allow it to be considered a safe and viable option, at least as a first round of conservative treatment. Women with an unsatisfied desire for motherhood or with high surgical risk might avoid hysterectomy and attempt childbearing or spare high-risk surgery.

Keywords: cancer; endometrium; fertility‐sparing; pregnancy; prognosis; risk assessment; tumor.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conservative Treatment
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia* / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation*
  • Humans
  • Pathologic Complete Response
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies