Adjuvant radiotherapy in women with stage I endometrial cancer: A systematic review
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OBJECTIVE: To review the literature regarding the role of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) in women with stage I endometrial cancer in terms of survival and pelvic control. METHODS: A systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library databases was conducted for studies evaluating RT (1966 to October 2005). RESULTS: Five randomized trials were identified that evaluated adjuvant external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and/or intracavitary radiotherapy (ICRT) including one in which women had undergone complete surgical staging. No survival differences were identified; however, none of the studies were powered enough to show a survival benefit. In three studies reporting subgroup analyses, intermediate-risk subgroups (stages IA and IB, grade 3 or stage IC) who received RT had fewer pelvic recurrences compared to women not receiving RT. Unfortunately, none of the studies reported ultimate pelvic control as an outcome. CONCLUSIONS: RT is not recommended in low-risk patients (stages IA, IB, grades 1 and 2). It is reasonable to consider EBRT for intermediate-risk subgroup patients (stage IC, grades 1 and 2, or stages IA, IB, grade 3), regardless of surgical staging, to reduce the risk of pelvic recurrence. EBRT is recommended for high-risk patients (stage IC, grade 3). The benefits of EBRT need to be weighed against the toxicity of treatment. Patients should be informed of the benefits and risks of EBRT. Additional analysis including ultimate pelvic control in subgroups would be helpful. More clinical trials are warranted to further define the role of EBRT in subgroups of patients and to clarify the role of ICRT.
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