Debate on the value of lymphadenectomy continues in endometrial cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate patient and clinician preferences for routine lymphadenectomy versus no lymphadenectomy in the surgical management of endometrial cancer.
A discrete choice experiment and trade-off question were designed and distributed to 103 endometrial cancer patients and 90 gynecologic oncologists. Participant preferences were quantified with regression analysis using scenarios based on three attributes: 5-year progression-free survival and the rates of acute and chronic complication. A trade-off technique varying the risk of recurrence for no lymphadenectomy was used to quantify any additional risk of recurrence that these participants would accept to receive no lymphadenectomy instead of routine lymphadenectomy.
On the basis of discrete choice experiment, the recurrence rate and lymphedema risk had a statistically significant impact on respondents' preference. The trade-off question showed that the median additional accepted risk of having no lymphadenectomy was 2.8% for gynecologic oncologists (0.5-14%) and 3.0% for patients (0.5-10%), but this difference was not significant (p = 0.620). Patients who were younger or had a higher education level or no history of delivery or shorter duration since diagnosis were prepared to accept higher additional risks of having no lymphadenectomy.
Our results show that the majority of endometrial cancer patients and clinicians will accept a small amount of recurrence risk to reduce the incidence of lymphedema. Regarding preference heterogeneity among patients, our results show that it is important for surgeons to take a patient-tailored approach when discussing surgical management.