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Minerva Medica 2021 February;112(1):55-69

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.20.07072-X


language: English

Fertility-sparing management for endometrial cancer: review of the literature

Simone GARZON 1 , Stefano UCCELLA 2, Pier Carlo ZORZATO 2, Mariachiara BOSCO 2, Massimo P. FRANCHI 2, Vladimir STUDENT 1, Andrea MARIANI 1

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, MN, USA; 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Verona, University of Verona, Verona, Italy

INTRODUCTION: Primary surgery is effective in low-risk endometrial cancer (EC). However, in young women, this approach compromises fertility. Therefore, fertility-sparing management in the case of atypical endometrial hyperplasia, or grade 1 EC limited to the endometrium can be considered.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We performed a literature review to identify studies involving women with EC or atypical hyperplasia who underwent fertility-sparing management. We conducted multiple bibliographic databases research from their inception to May 2020.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Oral therapy with medroxyprogesterone acetate and megestrol acetate is recommended based on extensive experience, although without consensus on dosages and treatment length. The pooled complete response rate, recurrence rate, and pregnancy rate of EC were 76.3%, 30.7% and 52.1%, respectively. Endometrial hyperplasia was associated with better outcomes. LNG-IUSs appears an alternative treatment, particularly in patients who do not tolerate oral therapy. In a randomized controlled trial, megestrol acetate plus metformin guaranteed an earlier complete response rate than megestrol acetate alone for endometrial hyperplasia. Hysteroscopic resection followed by progestogens is associated with a higher complete response rate, live birth rate, and lower recurrence rate than oral progestogens alone. Pooled complete response, recurrence, and live birth rates were 98.1%, 4.8% and 52.6%.
CONCLUSIONS: Fertility preservation appears feasible in young patients with grade 1 EC limited to the endometrium or atypical endometrial hyperplasia. Progestins are the mainstay of such management. The addition of Metformin and hysteroscopic resection seems to provide some improvements. However, fertility preservation is not the standard approach for staging and treatment, potentially worsening oncologic outcomes.

KEY WORDS: Endometrial neoplasms; Endometrial hyperplasia; Fertility preservation; Live birth

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