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Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Apr;81(1):82-7.

Multimodality therapy in early-stage neuroendocrine carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.



Patients with early-stage neuroendocrine cervical carcinoma (NECC) have a high mortality rate despite aggressive therapy. The rarity of this tumor precludes initiation of a randomized, prospective trial. We reviewed our experience in early stage disease and performed a meta-analysis of the literature to identify prognostic factors and determine optimal multimodality therapy.


Eleven women with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) early stage (IB--IIA) NECC were treated with surgery and chemotherapy at our institutions between 1978 and 1998. Administration of radiation therapy was recorded, but not required for inclusion in this study. A gynecologic pathologist reviewed all histopathologic sections. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed and clinical data obtained. Twenty-three early-stage NECC patients who were similarly treated during the study interval were identified by a Medline search of the English literature and included in the analysis. The Kaplan--Meier method and log-rank test were used for survival analysis.


The overall 2-year survival rate for the 34 patients was 38%. The median age was 37 years (range, 20--75 years). Median cervical tumor diameter was 3.2 cm (range 0.5--11.0 cm). Lymphovascular space invasion was present in 21 (78%) of 27 patients (7 unknown). Fifteen (52%) of twenty-nine had lymph node metastases (5 unknown). Fifteen patients received postoperative platinum/etoposide (PE), seven received vincristine/adriamycin/cyclophosphamide (VAC), two received alternating cycles of VAC and PE, and ten received other chemotherapy regimens. Twenty women were treated with radiation therapy. The presence of lymph node metastases was a poor prognostic factor (P < 0.001). PE and VAC chemotherapy was associated with increased survival (P < 0.01).


NECC is a highly lethal variant of cervical cancer. The presence of lymph node metastases is the most important prognostic variable. Postoperative VAC or PE appears most likely to improve chances for survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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