Endometrial carcinoma. Influence of prognostic factors on radiation management

Cancer. 1993 Feb 15;71(4 Suppl):1471-9. doi: 10.1002/cncr.2820710412.


The earliest intracavitary radium treatment for uterine cancer was reported in 1908. Refinements reported during the next 20 years, using an intrauterine tube and colpostats or radium capsules, established a treatment philosophy of preoperatively irradiating uterine and parauterine tissues. Thus, preoperative intracavitary irradiation became entrenched as therapy for all endometrial cancers for the better part of four decades. In the 1950s and 1960s, the ability of external irradiation to eradicate cancer in regional lymphatic vessels prompted the use of pelvic field irradiation in Stage II and III and recurrent disease. The results of surgical exploratory studies in the 1970s established more refined criteria for preoperative or postoperative external pelvic irradiation in high-grade infiltrating Stage I cancers. In the 1980s, it became apparent that, for tumors with lymphovascular invasion, clear cell, and serous papillary histologic types, the disease spread to the upper abdomen and the paraaortic nodes might benefit from extended field and/or whole abdominal irradiation, with or without systemic bolus or concomitant continuous-infusion chemotherapy. In the 1980s, a subset of patients was identified with high-grade lymphovascular invasion clear cell and papillary serous histologic types or with positive peritoneal cytologic findings who were at high risk of failing in the paraaortic nodes and/or the upper abdomen for whom extended field or whole abdominal irradiation have been advocated. Given the fraction and dose limitation for a large abdominal field, the addition of systemic concomitant bolus or continuous infusion of chemotherapy currently is proposed to improve the control of intraabdominal failure in these high-risk patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / mortality
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / drug therapy
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / mortality
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / pathology
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis