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The outcome of stage I-II clinically and surgically staged papillary serous and clear cell endometrial cancers when compared with endometrioid carcinoma.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare survival and recurrence in clinical and surgical stage I-II papillary serous (PS), clear cell (CC), and endometrioid (EM) cancers of the endometrium and examine the prognostic utility of myometrial invasion.

METHODS: Clinical, surgicopathologic, and survival data were retrospectively collected on 574 clinical stage I-II endometrial cancer patients, including 53 PS and 18 CC (based on postoperative histology), undergoing hysterectomy at Duke University Medical Center between 1967 and 1990. All staging material was available and reexamined prior to this analysis, and FIGO surgical staging was retrospectively assigned. Prognostic variables examined included age, stage, grade, myometrial invasion, lymph-vascular space invasion (LVSI), and histology. PS and CC histologic subtypes were compared as both common category and discrete categories versus EM, EM grade 1 (EM1), EM grade 2 (EM2), and EM grade 3 (EM3). Statistical analyses were performed using chi(2), Fisher's exact, and Wilcoxon rank sum tests, Cox regression analysis, and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis.

RESULTS: PS tumors accounted for 9%, CC for 3%, and EM for 88% of cases. Recurrences were more frequent among PS (38%) and CC (22%) compared with EM (9%) (P < 0.001 and 0.08, respectively), and PS recurred more frequently than EM3 alone (20%) (P = 0.06). Among PS, CC, and EM3 patients with recurrences there were no statistical differences in the proportion that received preoperative or postoperative radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Prognostic factors for shorter survival included age >=60, surgical stage III+IV, presence of LVSI, histology (PS, CC, or EM3), and >=50% myometrial invasion. The estimated 5-year survival of PS+CC patients with <2 mm myometrial invasion is 0.56 compared to 0.93 for EM patients (P < 0. 001). PS + CC tumors confined to the endometrium had a 5-year survival of 0.60 compared to 0.98 and 1.00 for EM and EM3, respectively. The 5-year survival for surgically staged IA patients (0.57) was not different from stages IB and IC combined (0.53) (P = 0.72). The 5-year survival for surgical stage I + II PS + CC patients (0.56) was comparable to that for clinical stage I + II PS + CC patients (0.46) and remained significantly smaller than that for EM patients (0.86) (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Recurrences are more frequent among PS and CC tumors compared with EM and among PS compared with EM3. When controlled for surgical stage I-II tumors, 5-year survival for PS + CC patients remains comparable to that of clinical stage I-II patients and below that of EM. Prognostic factors for survival in PS and CC patients include age, stage, and LVSI. PS, CC, and EM3 subtypes together are predictors of poor survival. Thorough extended surgical staging is indicated in PS and CC tumors, and prospective trials of aggressive adjuvant therapies for surgical stage I-II tumors are needed to improve outcome in PS and CC patients.

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