Detection of endometrial cancer cells in the fallopian tube lumen is associated with adverse prognostic factors and reduced survival

Ashley S. Felix, Jennifer A. Sinnott, Monica Hagan Vetter, Jennifer Rhoades, David E. Cohn, Floor J. Backes, Mark E. Sherman, Adrian A. Suarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Stage is a critical determinant of prognosis and treatment for endometrial cancer (EC) patients. Women who have had a tubal ligation for sterilization have improved EC survival, secondary to lower stage at presentation, suggesting that transtubal spread may represent an important route of metastasis. We evaluated detection of intraluminal tumor cells (ILTCs) in relation to tumor characteristics and survival. Methods: One pathologist retrospectively evaluated hematoxylin and eosin sections of routinely collected fallopian tubes for ILTCs from 295 EC patients, masked to outcome. We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between demographic (age, race) and clinical [FIGO 2009 stage, lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI), histological subtype] characteristics and ILTCs. Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for associations between ILTCs and recurrence-free survival (RFS) and EC-specific survival, overall and stratified by histological subtype or stage. Results: In univariable logistic regression models, age (55–64 vs. ≥65: OR = 3.41, 95% CI = 1.48–7.84), stage (stage IV vs. stage I OR = 14.58, 95% CI = 5.27–40.35), LVSI (OR = 2.93, 95% CI = 1.42–6.04), and histological subtype (serous vs. low-grade endometrioid OR = 3.21, 95% CI = 1.08–9.58), were associated with ILTCs. Only age and stage remained significantly associated with ILTCs in adjusted models. ILTCs were significantly associated with lower EC-specific survival among women with serous EC or stage I disease; however, adjustment for age, stage, and histology attenuated these associations. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that ILTCs are associated with adverse EC prognostic features and reduced survival in cases of early stage or serous histology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Disease-specific mortality
  • Fallopian tube
  • Patterns of spread
  • Uterus neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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