Live births and maintenance with levonorgestrel IUD improve disease-free survival after fertility-sparing treatment of atypical hyperplasia and early endometrial cancer
Objective. Our objectives were to (1) compare different regimens of hormonal therapy (HT) in young women with atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH) and early endometrial cancer (EC), (2) assess reproductive and on- cologic outcomes and (3) explore possible predictors of complete response (CR) and disease free survival (DFS).
Methods. Reproductive age women with AEH and Grade 1–2 endometrioid EC with no or minimal myometrial invasion on MRI treated with different regimens of HT were prospectively analyzed. Treatment pro- tocols included levonorgestrel intrauterine device (LNG IUD), gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (aGnRH) or high-dose oral medroxyprogesteron acetate (MPA) separately and in combinations.
Results. Total of 418 patients with AEH (n = 228) and EC (n = 190) aged 19–46 years received HT. Overall CR rate was 96% in AEH and 88% in EC patients (р < 0.001). None of the regimens used in AEH (LNG IUD + 2 D&C vs. LNG IUD + aGnRH vs. LNG IUD + 3 D&C) was found inferior to the others (CR of 98%, 95%, 100%, respectively, p > 0.05) except for MPA alone (CR 87%, р = 0.009). Out of four HT regimens used in EC LNG IUD + aGnRH+3 D&C was superior to all others (CR 96%, р = 0.026) where 2 D&Cs were performed or oral MPA was prescribed. The median follow-up for 339 patients was 33 months (range: 3–136), 68% of patients (n = 232) attempted con- ception, 38% (n = 89) of them used ART. The birth rate was 42% (n = 97). The rate of recurrence was 26% (50/ 196) in AEH group and 36% (51/143) in EC group (p = 0.05). Birth after treatment (HR = 0.24) or LNG IUD main- tenance (HR = 0.18) were associated with superior DFS (p < 0.001 for both). ART use did not influence DFS.
Conclusion. Hormonal therapy of AEH and early EC with LNG IUD is superior to MPA-containing regimens, however still carries high risk of recurrence. Post-treatment pregnancy rates are satisfactory and can be further improved by broader ART use which was proven safe. Initial diagnosis of AEH, post-treatment child birth and LNG IUD maintenance were associated with decreased rates of recurrence.