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Vaginal brachytherapy alone is sufficient adjuvant treatment of surgical stage I endometrial cancer.

PURPOSE: To determine the efficacy and complications of adjuvant vaginal high-dose-rate brachytherapy alone for patients with Stage I endometrial cancer in whom complete surgical staging had been performed.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Between April 1998 and March 2004, 100 patients with Stage I endometrial cancer underwent surgical staging (total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with pelvic +/- paraaortic nodal sampling) and postoperative vaginal high-dose-rate brachytherapy at our institution. The total dose was 2100 cGy in three fractions.

RESULTS: With a median follow-up of 23 months (range 2-62), no pelvic or vaginal recurrences developed. All patients underwent pelvic dissection, and 42% underwent paraaortic nodal dissection. A median of 29.5 pelvic nodes (range 1-67) was removed (84% had >10 pelvic nodes removed). Most patients (73%) had endometrioid (or unspecified) adenocarcinoma, 16% had papillary serous carcinoma, and 11% had other histologic types. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage and grade was Stage IA, grade III in 5; Stage IB, grade I, II, or III in 6, 27, or 20, respectively; and Stage IC, grade I, II, or III in 13, 17, or 10, respectively. The Common Toxicity Criteria (version 2.0) complications were mild (Grade 1-2) and consisted primarily of vaginal mucosal changes, temporary urinary irritation, and temporary diarrhea.

CONCLUSION: Adjuvant vaginal high-dose-rate brachytherapy alone may be a safe and effective alternative to pelvic external beam radiotherapy for surgical Stage I endometrial cancer.

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