Enhanced efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy in selected cases of surgically resected neuroendocrine carcinoma of the uterine cervix: A retrospective cohort study

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The aim of the present study is to identify the prognostic factors of overall survival and examine the effects of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy on the overall survival in neuroendocrine carcinoma of the uterine cervix (NECUC) patients.

Forty-eight surgically treated patients were retrospectively recruited and clinicopathologic characteristics and treatments were reviewed. Kaplan–Meier product-limit method and Cox proportional-hazards regression were utilized for univariate and multivariate analyses.

The median follow-up time was 20.6 months and the median overall survival was 30.7 months. The estimated 2-year and 5-year overall survival rates were 57.5% and 31.3%, respectively. Forty patients had ≤ stage IIA disease and 8 had >IIA disease. Univariate analysis identified the clinical stage ≤ IIA (P = 0.042), tumor size ≤ 4 cm (P = 0.005), negative lymph nodes metastasis (P < 0.001), depth of stromal invasion ≤ 1/2 (P = 0.001), negative parametrial involvement (P = 0.004), and weak staining of synaptophysin (P = 0.037), and chromogranin (P = 0.011) as the prognostic factors for an improved overall survival, while chemotherapy and radiotherapy were not prognostic factors in the whole cohort. However, surgery combined with chemotherapy and radiotherapy produced a survival advantage over surgery alone in patients with large tumors (P = 0.006). The combination of surgery and chemotherapy (with or without radiotherapy) did not show any significant difference in overall survival for small tumors (P = 0.816), compared with no chemotherapy (with or without radiotherapy). In addition, radiotherapy for tumors with squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma components achieved a better survival (P = 0.01), and there was a tendency of an unfavorable survival for radiotherapy in homogeneous carcinoma (P = 0.099). Tumor size was an independent prognostic factor in the multivariate analysis (HR: 12.724, 95% CI: 1.697–95.423, P = 0.013).

In conclusion, clinicopathologic features significantly influence a NECUC patient's outcome. Tumor size and tumor histology can influence the effect of adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy on overall survival. We recommend that platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy should be used in all cases, while radiotherapy should be reserved for the selected NECUC patients whose tumors have mixed histology.

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