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Chemotherapy after surgery extends survival for patients with advanced endometrial cancer

A new study has shown for the first time that giving two chemotherapy drugs to women with advanced endometrial cancer after surgery reduced the risk of recurrence by 29% and extended survival by 32% compared with women who received whole abdominal irradiation. The findings could improve the care for the 15% to 20% of patients with endometrial cancer who have advanced disease. The study will be published online December 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO).

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer in the United States the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2005, 40,880 women will be diagnosed with the disease, and 7,310 will die.

"For the first time, adjuvant chemotherapy has been shown to extend survival in patients with advanced endometrial cancer," said the study's lead author, Marcus E. Randall, MD, Director of the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. "These findings were surprising, given that previous studies showed that single chemotherapy agents do not have a significant impact on the disease."

Researchers from the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) compared the rate of recurrence and overall survival between 194 women with advanced endometrial cancer who received chemotherapy with the drugs doxorubicin and cisplatin over a period of five months and 202 women who received radiation therapy to the entire abdomen over a period of approximately 1.5 months. Patients were enrolled in the trial from 1992 until 2001. Researchers followed patients for a median of just over six years, and used a statistical model to estimate five-year recurrence and survival rates.

After five years, 50% of patients who received chemotherapy were estimated to be free of disease compared with 38% of those who received whole abdominal irradiation. Moreover, 55% of patients who received chemotherapy were estimated to be alive after five years, co
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5-Dec-2005


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