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Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Nov;83(2):319-24.

Is there a place for a less extensive radical surgery in locally advanced cervical cancer patients?

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, 00168, Italy.



The aim of this study was to assess the association among the pathological status of different lymph node groups and parametrium in a single institutional population of 103 locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) cases who underwent surgery after a neoadjuvant approach. A series of 29 early cervical cancer patients was also included in the analysis.


Eighty-two LACC patients with documented clinical response to neoadjuvant treatment and 29 early stage cases underwent radical surgery. The operative technique consisted of a type II-V radical hysterectomy and systematic pelvic lymphadenectomy (median number of lymph nodes removed 46; range 5-140). Sixty-four cases were submitted to para-aortic lymphadenectomy up to the level of the inferior mesenteric artery (median number of lymph nodes removed 13; range 1-37).


Two subgroups of lymph nodes were defined: lower pelvic lymph nodes (LPN), including obturator and external iliac nodes, and upper pelvic nodes (UPN) including common iliac, presacral, and internal iliac nodes. Metastatic UPN involvement showed a strict association with LPN involvement: in LACC cases, 6 of 7 (86%) positive UPN cases had tumor disease at the LPN level. The single positive UPN case with negative LPN was intraoperatively identified by palpation and frozen section. Similarly, in early cervical cancer patients, 100% of positive UPN cases showed metastatic involvement at the LPN level. Sixty-three of 70 (90%) LACC patients with negative histological parametrium had negative LPN. Among 12 cases with metastatic involvement of parametrium, 5 cases (41.7%) had positive LPN. In early stage cervical cancer, 23 of 27 (85%) cases with negative parametrium showed no lymph nodal involvement. Intraoperative palpation of the parametrium could identify all cases with parametrial involvement not predicted by LPN status.


These data offer the basis for tailoring the extent of radical surgery in LACC patients, through the selection of those lymph node stations likely to provide reliable information on the pathological status of UPN and parametrium.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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