Researchers have found that endocrine-targeted therapies and an assessment of biomarkers in sex hormone and insulin signalling pathways may be useful in the prevention and treatment of endometrial cancer recurrence.
According to the team, sex hormones and insulin growth factors are associated with recurrence risk of endometrial cancer — a type of uterine cancer that starts in the inner lining of the uterus. This lining is called the endometrium.
“These findings are very encouraging,” said researcher Gloria Huang, Associate Professor at Yale University in the US.
“Women who are diagnosed with more advanced stages of endometrial cancer have a substantially higher risk of recurrence and death,” Huang added.
For the study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, the team analysed blood serum and endometrial tumour samples from several hundred women who participated in the study.
They were followed for up to 10 years following their initial surgical treatment for endometrial cancer.
The focus was on women with the most common type of endometrial cancer, endometrioid adenocarcinoma, who were at risk for recurrence due to higher stage at presentation (Stages II to IV).
The results showed a recurrence in 280 patients (34 per cent) during a median of 4.6 years of follow-up. Estrogen-receptor positivity, insulin receptor positivity, and circulating insulin-like growth factor-I were inversely associated with recurrence risk.
Circulating estradiol hormone and positivity for phosphorylated IGF1R/IR (pIGF1R/pIR), the activated form of cellular receptors for insulin-like growth factors and insulin were associated with increased recurrence risk.