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Two Endometrial Cancer Treatments May Not Work
Date:12/12/2008

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The second study evaluated the effects of external beam radiotherapy (EBR). This therapy is typically offered to women who've had successful surgery for early endometrial cancer but are at increased risk of cancer recurrence.

The study included 905 women randomly selected to observation (453) or EBR (452) after surgery. EBR was delivered in 20 to 25 daily fractions up to the target dose.

After a median of 58 months follow-up, 68 women in the observation group and 67 in EBR group had died. Overall five-year survival was 84 percent in both groups.

The study found "no evidence of a benefit for external beam radiotherapy for early endometrial cancer at intermediate or high risk of recurrence, in terms of overall, disease-specific, and disease-specific recurrence-free survival. Combining these findings with data from other trials, we can exclude even a very small benefit of radiotherapy on overall survival."

The authors add that, "adjuvant external beam radiotherapy cannot be recommended as part of routine treatment to improve survival for women with early endometrial cancer at intermediate or high risk of recurrence, and brachytherapy [placement of small radioactive pellets near cancer site] might be preferred for local control."

The studies appear online and in an upcoming print issue of The Lancet.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about treatment for endometrial cancer.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: The Lancet, news release, Dec. 13, 2008


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