Limitations of adjuvant radiotherapy for uterine sarcomas spread beyond the uterus

Kathryn E. Dusenbery, Roger A. Potish, Patricia Judson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective. The present review analyzes patients with advanced uterine sarcomas with the goal of identifying patients likely to benefit from larger volumes and higher dosages of radiotherapy. Methods. A retrospective review was performed of medical records of all patients receiving adjuvant radiotherapy for advanced uterine sarcomas from 1978 to 1997 at the University of Minnesota. Results. Nineteen women with advanced uterine sarcomas received adjuvant radiotherapy. Seven also received adjuvant chemotherapy. Three patients had FIGO stage IIIA, 1 stage IIIB, 5 stage IIIC, and 12 stage IVB. Patients with mixed mullerian tumors had overall and disease-free survivals of 31% at 1 year and 23% at 5 years. For leiomyosarcomas, overall survival was 67% at 1 year and 33% at 5 years, but relapse-free survival was 33% at 1 and 5 years. First sites of failure were three pelvic and abdominal, one abdominal only, one abdominal and distant, two pelvic and distant, one pelvic, abdominal, and distant, five distant only, and one unknown. No Grade 3 or 4 toxicity occurred. Conclusion. Ongoing technical advancements in radiotherapy offer more precise radiation delivery, particularly to the peritoneal cavity. Although abdominal failures are common in women with mixed mullerian tumors, translation of higher radiation dosage to cure is unproven, and the majority of failures have a distant component. Until effective systemic therapy is developed, the prognosis of uterine sarcomas with any spread beyond the uterus will remain poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Adjuvant radiotherapy
  • Mixed mullerian tumors
  • Peritoneal metastases
  • Retrospective study
  • Uterine sarcomas

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