Endometrial stromal sarcoma (low grade)

Christina S. Chu, MD
Last Modified: April 21, 2002

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
What is Endometrial stromal sarcoma (low grade)?  

Answer

Christina S. Chu, MD, Assistant Professor of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania Health System, responds:

Endometrial stromal sarcomas are a rare type of uterine cancer. The normal endometrial lining of the uterus is the layer that sheds every month during a woman's menstural period, and is the lining where a developing embryo implants. This endometrial lining is made up of glandular cells and stromal cells. The typical endometrial cancer is made up of malignant glandular cells, while endometrial stromal sarcomas are composed of malignant stromal cells. The stage of the tumor when it is diagnosed is the most important prognostic factor. The low grade variety typically has a very slow growing, non-aggressive course. The recommended treatment is surgical removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Some physicians may recommend radiation to the pelvis after surgery depending on the extent of the tumor.