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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2012 Mar;38(3):203-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2011.12.017. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Class I versus class III radical hysterectomy in stage IB1-IIA cervical cancer. A prospective randomized study.

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Department of Gynecology, Cervical Cancer Center, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti 435, 20141 Milan, Italy.



The standard treatment for stage IB-IIA cervical cancer over the past three decades has been the Piver-Rutledge type III radical hysterectomy. This surgery implies a high rate of urologic morbidity. The objective was to determine the role of class I radical hysterectomy compared to class III radical hysterectomy in terms of morbidity, overall survival, DFS and patterns of relapse in patients undergoing primary surgery.


125 patients with stage IB1 and IIA cervical cancer ≤ 4 cm were randomized between type I and type III hysterectomy. Clinical, pathologic and follow-up data were prospectively collected. Adjuvant radiotherapy was administered when indicated. Univariate and multivariate analyses were carried out.


Sixty-two patients were randomized to class I surgery and 63 to class III. No significant differences were observed regarding pathologic findings and adjuvant treatment. Morbidity rates were higher after class III surgery (84% versus 45%). Pelvic recurrences were equal in both groups (8 cases each one). Fifteen-year overall survival rate was 90 and 74% respectively (p = 0.11) and 76 and 80% when cervical size is ≤ 3 cm (p = 0.88).


There are no significant differences in terms of both recurrence rate and overall survival among patients with stage IB-IIA cervical cancer undergoing simple extrafascial hysterectomy (class I) or radical hysterectomy (class III). Morbidity is proportional to the extent of radicality. These data confirm the need of tailoring the extent of resection to the characteristics of the cervical neoplasia and open new interesting pathways to upcoming protocols for the conservative management of these tumors.

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