Completing or Abandoning Radical Hysterectomy in Early-Stage Lymph Node–Positive Cervical Cancer: Impact on Disease-Free Survival and Treatment-Related Toxicity

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Abstract

Introduction

Management regarding completing hysterectomy in case of intraoperative finding of positive lymph nodes in early-stage cervical cancer differs between institutions. The aim of this study was to compare survival and toxicity after completed hysterectomy followed by adjuvant (chemo-)radiotherapy versus abandoned hysterectomy and primary treatment with chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

Methods

A retrospective multicenter cohort study was performed. All patients were scheduled for radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy (RHL). In the RHL group, hysterectomy was completed followed by adjuvant (chemo-)radiotherapy. In the second group, hysterectomy was abandoned, and CRT was conducted. Primary outcomes were disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival. A multivariable analysis on DFS was performed. Toxicity was scored according to the National Cancer Institute CTCAE (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events) v4.03.

Results

A total of 121 patients were included (RHL, n = 89; CRT, n = 32). There was no difference in overall survival (84% vs 77%). Five-year DFS was in favor of completing RHL (81% vs 67%). Multivariable analysis showed that, corrected for lymph node variables, treatment regimen was not associated with DFS. After RHL, pelvic recurrence rate was significantly lower compared with CRT (2% vs 16%). CTCAE grade 3–4 toxicity rates were higher in the CRT compared with the RHL group (59% vs 30%), mainly because of differences in chemotherapy-related hematologic toxicity.

Conclusions

In patients with clinically N0 early-stage cervical cancer with intraoperative detection of positive nodes, completing RHL followed by adjuvant (chemo-)radiotherapy may result in a better pelvic control compared with abandoning hysterectomy and treatment with chemoradiotherapy. However, if corrected for lymph node variables, treatment (RHL or CRT) was not associated with DFS.

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