Background: Up to the present time, there has remained a lack of strong evidence as to whether sentinel lymph node biopsy can replace lymphadenectomy for early endometrial cancer. The traditional surgery for endometrial cancer includes pelvic lymphadenectomy and paraaortic lymph node resection, but complications often seriously affect patients’ quality of life. Two randomized controlled trials with large samples have proved that lymphadenectomy does not improve the overall recurrence rate and survival rate of patients. On the contrary, it increases the incidence of complications and even mortality. The current trial is designed to clarify whether sentinel lymph node biopsy can replace lymphadenectomy for early endometrial cancer patients with negative lymph nodes.
Methods: This study is a randomized, open-label, multicenter and non-inferiority controlled clinical trial in China. Potential participants will be patients with pathologically confirmed endometrial cancer at the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Jiaxing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, and the First Hospital of Jiaxing in China. The total sample size for this study is 722. Patients will be randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to two groups. Patients in one group will undergo sentinel lymph node biopsy + total hysterectomy + bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy ± paraaortic lymph node resection. Patients in the other group will undergo sentinel lymph node biopsy + total hysterectomy + bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy + pelvic lymphadenectomy ± paraaortic lymph node resection. The 3-year disease-free survival rate, overall survival rate, quality of life (use EORTC QLQ-C30 + QLQ-CX24), and perioperative related indexes of the two groups will be compared.
Conclusion: This will prove that the prognosis of sentinel lymph node biopsy alone with indocyanine green combined with near-infrared fluorescence imaging is not inferior to that of sentinel lymph node biopsy plus lymphadenectomy for early stage endometrial cancer with negative nodal assessment intraoperatively. In addition, sentinel lymph node biopsy alone with indocyanine green combined with near-infrared fluorescence imaging results in fewer surgical complications and gives patients better quality of life.