We previously reported on the role of cytoreduction in 248 patients with surgical stage IVb endometrial cancer (EMCA). This study aimed to evaluate the clinical characteristics, prognosis according to initial treatment, and impact of preoperative chemotherapy in the overall population of patients with clinical and surgical stage IVb EMCA. A multi-institutional retrospective analysis was performed in 426 patients diagnosed with clinical and surgical stage IVb EMCA from 1996 to 2005. Factors associated with overall survival (OS) were identified using univariate and multivariate analyses. The median OS for all 426 patients was 14 months. Patients were divided into three groups according to their initial treatment: primary surgery group (n=279), primary chemotherapy group (n=125), and palliative care group (n=22). The median OS times for these groups were 21, 12, and 1 month, respectively (p<0.0001). Patients in the primary surgery group had better performance status (PS) and lower numbers of extra-abdominal metastases than those in the primary chemotherapy group. Multivariate analysis identified good PS, endometrioid histology, absence of clinical intra-abdominal stage IVb metastasis, hysterectomy, and chemotherapy as independent predictors of OS. In the primary chemotherapy group, 59 patients subsequently underwent surgery, and these patients had similar OS to those in the primary surgery group. Hysterectomy and chemotherapy may prolong OS in selected patients with stage IVb EMCA. Our data suggest that primary chemotherapy followed by surgery may be a useful treatment choice in patients not suitable for primary surgery.