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Para-aortic lymphadenectomy improves survival in patients with intermediate to high-risk endometrial carcinoma.

OBJECTIVE: Surgical staging of endometrial carcinoma is practiced to identify the true extent of disease. The impact of para-aortic lymphadenectomy (PALD) on survival is unproven. The purpose of this study was to determine if a staging procedure that includes PALD is associated with improved survival in endometrial carcinoma patients who had been surgically staged.

DESIGN: Retrospective review of patients' records.

SETTING: Ajou University Hospital, a tertiary care hospital in South Korea.

POPULATION: One hundred and sixty patients with endometrial carcinoma.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed a total of 160 FIGO stage I-III endometrial carcinoma patients without grossly metastatic para-aortic lymph nodes, who underwent surgery between 1994 and 2007. Exclusion criteria included presurgical radiation, stage IV disease and sarcomas. Two groups were identified: patients who underwent pelvic lymphadenectomy (PLD) and PALD (n=85) versus those who underwent PLD alone (n=75). Survival was analyzed using Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards model.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Disease-free and overall survival.

RESULTS: Overall, patients who underwent PALD demonstrated improved 5-year disease-free survival (81.0 vs 91.2%) and overall survival (85.8 vs 96.2%) compared to those who underwent PLD alone (p=0.019 and p=0.039, respectively). After multivariate analysis, patients' age (p=0.028), FIGO stage (p<0.001) and lymphadenectomy (p=0.014) were independent prognostic factors. The type of lymphadenectomy did not affect survival of low-risk patients. In intermediate to high-risk patients, PALD improved disease-free survival and showed a trend toward improvement of overall survival.

CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate that PALD has a potentially therapeutic benefit on survival in surgically staged patients with intermediate to high-risk endometrial carcinoma.

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