A new study has shown that giving two chemotherapy drugs to women with advanced endometrial cancer after surgery reduced the risk of recurrence by 29 percent and extended survival by 32 percent compared with women who received whole abdominal irradiation. The study, conducted at the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., will be published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
In the study, researchers 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 percent of patients who received chemotherapy were estimated to be free of disease compared with 38 percent of those who received whole abdominal irradiation. Moreover, 55 percent of patients who received chemotherapy were estimated to be alive after five years, compared with 42 percent of patients in the radiation therapy group.