The main objective of this study was to analyze the pattern of recurrence after conization and pelvic lymphadenectomy in early-stage cervical cancer (CC).Methods
We retrospectively identified 60 patients with early-stage CC who referred to the European Institute of Oncology (IEO; Milan, Italy) for fertility-sparing surgery. All of them underwent conization and pelvic lymphadenectomy (one received neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by simple trachelectomy because of the size of the tumor).Results
In total, 54 patients were considered for final analysis; only 23 patients were entirely treated at IEO. Relapse occurred in 7 (13%) of 54 patients, and in 6 cases (86%) it was local. One patient experienced a pelvic lymph node recurrence (in a woman who conceived 4 months after conservative surgery). However, this was an atypical case for site and timing of recurrence with the consistent doubt that the nodal involvement was already present before conization. Thus, analyzing only IEO population, the recurrence rate was lower (9%), becoming 4% excluding the atypical case with nodal involvement.Conclusions
In our series, the relapse was mainly local (on the cervix). However, the pattern of recurrence and recurrence rates after conization and pelvic lymphadenectomy for early-stage CC are still unclear. Further studies, comparing conization with radical trachelectomy, are necessary to confirm that the adoption of this procedure in clinical practice is safe. Our data highlight that the management of such as a particular condition in dedicated and highly specialized centers is mandatory.