Cancer of the womb (also referred to as endometrial cancer or uterine cancer) is the most common gynaecological cancer in Australia.
Many women with endometrial cancers will be successfully treated with surgery to remove the uterus, tubes and ovaries. However, women with high risk or more aggressive tumours are more likely to have their cancer spread to lymph glands in the pelvis or abdomen, or other areas.
“These women will not be cured with surgery alone to remove the uterus, tubes and ovaries” said Associate Professor Alison Brand.
For these women, lymph gland removal is performed as part of their treatment. This practice is standard for many gynaecological oncologists across Europe, Australia, the USA and other countries.
Unfortunately, the practice of lymph gland removal has not been shown to improve survival.
The STATEC trial aims to define the best treatment for these high risk or aggressive endometrial cancers with respect to lymph gland removal.
The study is testing whether lymph gland removal can more precisely determine who needs additional radiotherapy and chemotherapy and who can avoid it, OR whether all patients should get additional radiotherapy and chemotherapy, regardless of whether or not there is cancer in their lymph glands.
“The trial will determine which treatment option is better: lymph gland removal or giving everybody radiation and chemotherapy after surgery” said Associate Professor Alison Brand.
Both options have side-effects that have different impacts on quality of life. It is not yet known which option is superior in terms of survival and quality of life. This is the basis for development of the STATEC trial.
STATEC is an international study originating in the UK and led in Australia by Associate Professor Alison Brand. It is currently recruiting in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, with sites in start-up in South Australia, Western Australia and New Zealand.