Background: While total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy without lymph node staging are standard for low- and intermediate-risk endometrial cancer, certain histopathologic factors revealed after surgery can necessitate additional interventions. Our study assessed the influence of sentinel lymph node biopsy on postoperative decision-making.

Materials and methods: In the SENTRY trial (July 2021 – February 2023), we enrolled patients with International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage IA-IB low-grade endometrioid endometrial cancer. Laparoscopic sentinel lymph node mapping using indocyanine green was performed alongside total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Subsequent management changes based on sentinel lymph node biopsy results were evaluated. The trial was registered at (NCT04972682).

Results: Of the 100 enrolled participants, a bilateral detection rate of 91% was observed with a median detection time of 10 min (interquartile range 8-13 min). Sentinel lymph node metastases were found in 8% (N = 8) of participants. Postoperative FIGO staging increased in 15% (N = 15) and decreased in 5% (N = 5) of patients. Sentinel lymph node biopsy results altered the adjuvant treatment plan for 20% (N = 20): external beam radiotherapy was omitted in 12% (N = 12) while 6% (N = 6) had external beam radiotherapy +/- systemic chemotherapy added due to sentinel lymph node metastases. In 2% (N = 2), the external beam radiotherapy field was expanded with the paraaortic region. No intraoperative complications were reported and no 30-day major morbidity and mortality occurred. Throughout a median follow-up of 14 (95% CI 12-15 months, neither patient-reported lymphedema nor pelvic recurrence surfaced in the cohort.

Conclusions: Sentinel lymph node biopsy using indocyanine green is a safe procedure and allows tailoring adjuvant therapy in presumed low- and intermediate-risk endometrial cancer. It assists in avoiding external beam radiotherapy overtreatment and introducing additional modalities when necessary. Our findings indicate that this safe procedure results in significant alternation of the adjuvant treatment plans for a substantial number of patients, primarily avoiding overtreatment with EBRT.

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