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Cancer. 2012 Jan 15;118(2):392-403. doi: 10.1002/cncr.26317. Epub 2011 Jun 30.

Can radicality of surgery be safely modulated on the basis of MRI and PET/CT imaging in locally advanced cervical cancer patients administered preoperative treatment?

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Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Department of Oncology, Catholic University, Campobasso, Italy.



The goal of this study was to prospectively analyze the diagnostic performances of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) in predicting pathologically assessed residual disease in a large, single-institution series of locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) patients triaged to neoadjuvant treatments followed by radical surgery.


Between April 2007 and March 2010, 96 patients with histologically documented cervical cancer (any histology) and FIGO stage IB2-IVA were enrolled. MRI and PET/CT were recommended to be performed within 4-6 weeks from the end of treatment, and histology was the reference standard. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were compared using the McNemar test.


For residual disease in the cervix, sensitivity was higher for MRI than for PET/CT (86.1% vs 63.1%; P = .002), while specificity was significantly higher for PET/CT compared with MRI (P = .002). There was no difference in accuracy values between the 2 imaging modalities. For MRI analysis of lymph node groups, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were 35.7%, 95.9%, and 88.0%, respectively. Conversely, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for PET/CT were 28.6%, 97.8%, and 88.7%, respectively. Absence of follicular structures replaced by prevalent sclerosis and/or sinus histiocytosis was the most frequently documented morphological pattern in false-positive cases.


Neither MRI nor PET/CT accurately detected residual disease in LACC patients triaged to radical surgery after neoadjuvant treatment, disallowing the option of avoiding or modulating completion surgery.

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