Endometrial cancer is among the three most common cancers in females in industrialized countries. In the majority of cases, the tumor is confined to the uterus at the time of diagnosis and presents a good prognosis. However, after primary surgery, 15% to 20% of these tumors recur and have limited response to systemic therapy. We carried out gene expression profiling of high-risk recurrence endometrial cancers to identify new therapeutic approaches targeting the molecular pathways involved in the acquisition of an aggressive tumor phenotype. A microarray gene-expression analysis on a total of 51 human endometrial carcinomas revealed 77 genes specifically altered in high-risk recurrence tumors (P < 0.001). The bioinformatics analysis of gene-gene interactions and molecular relationships among these genes pointed to a prominent role for TGF-β1 signaling in the acquisition of an aggressive phenotype. We further showed that TGF-β1 has a principal role at the initiation of endometrial carcinoma invasion through the promotion of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition that leads to the acquisition of an invasive phenotype in HEC-1A and RL95-2 cells. Impairment of this initial step with SB-431542, a specific TGF-β1 inhibitor, precluded further persistent endometrial carcinoma invasion. In conclusion, we showed that the characterization of the molecular changes associated with the acquisition of an aggressive phenotype represents a realistic strategy for the rational identification and characterization of new potential therapeutic targets in an effort to improve the clinical management and the outcome of high-risk endometrial cancer patients. ©2011 AACR.