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Radiother Oncol. 1999 May;51(2):161-7.

Adjuvant radiotherapy following radical hysterectomy for patients with early-stage cervical carcinoma (1984-1996).

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Department of Clinical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.



The aim of this study was to assess the results of treatment (surgery alone or surgery and postoperative radiotherapy) for early-stage cervical carcinoma and to determine the morbidity associated with adjuvant radiotherapy. A subset of these patients (n = 10) was irradiated postoperatively for tumor related negative prognostic factors only and this retrospective analysis was also performed to determine if this decision was right and if the selection for this treatment was based on the right criteria.


From 1984 to 1996, 233 women underwent radical hysterectomy as primary treatment of stage I or IIA cervical carcinoma. One hundred and fifty-six patients were treated with surgery alone (67%) and 77 patients (33%) received adjuvant radiotherapy for a, tumor related negative prognostic factors: the combination CLS(+), tumor size > or = 40 mm and poor differentiation grade or the combination tumor size > or = 40 mm and depth of invasion > or = 15 mm (n = 10), or b, positive surgical margins (n = 17), and/or c. lymphnode metastases (n = 42) and/ or d. parametrial involvement (n = 6).


For the entire group the most important prognostic factor for survival and disease free survival was node positivity. Additional factors were depth of invasion and positive surgical margins. Thirty-five patients recurred of which 12 after surgery alone. In all these cases the relapse was in the pelvis (100%). Of the 23 recurrences after surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy 13 were seen in the pelvis (56%) (P = 0.003). All patients with negative prognostic factors and N0, received adjuvant radiotherapy (n = 10) and none of these patients recurred. The incidence of severe gastrointestinal radiation related side effects was low (2%). The incidence of lymphedema of the leg was 11% which was similar in the surgery alone group.


The relatively low percentage of radiation related side effects together with 0% recurrence in a subgroup of node negative patients with high risk of recurrence, and a relatively low percentage of recurrence in the surgery alone group lead us to the conclusion that postoperative radiotherapy in special subsets of node negative patients is justified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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