Molecular characterization of endometrial cancer and therapeutic implications

Zenas Chang, Shobhana Talukdar, Sally A. Mullany, Boris Winterhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewThe present article reviews genomic subtyping of endometrial carcinoma and new molecular markers with therapeutic and prognostic implications.Recent findingsEndometrial cancer has historically been classified through histology into endometrioid (type 1) and nonendometrioid (type II, mainly serous) subtypes. Molecular classification through genomic analysis now allows for a major advance in characterization; four distinct subgroups have been identified: polymerase ϵ (POLE) ultramutated, microsatellite unstable, copy number low/microsatellite stable, and copy number high/'serous-like'. These subtypes have prognostic implications and may aid in the identification of early-stage patients who are at high risk for recurrence. Through analysis of surrogate markers (POLE, MSI, and p53) and other validated molecular alterations (L1CAM), it may be possible to obtain an integrated molecular risk profile. Ongoing studies are utilizing this risk profile in order to identify patients who may benefit from additional treatment for early-stage disease.SummaryMolecular characterization of endometrial cancer into subgroups has prognostic and therapeutic implications. Further development of an integrated molecular risk profile may identify patients who could benefit from additional treatment because of a higher risk of recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-30
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
B.W. currently receives grant funding from the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, the University of Minnesota Genomics Center, and the University of Minnesota Grand Challenges program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • L1CAM
  • PORTEC-4a
  • endometrial cancer
  • molecular subtypes


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