Tailoring radicality in early cervical cancer: how far can we go?

Jacobus van der Velden, Constantijne H Mom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Today, the patient who is diagnosed with early cervical cancer is offered a variety of treatments apart from standard therapy. Patients can be treated with a less radical hysterectomy (RH) regarding parametrectomy, a trachelectomy either vaginal or abdominal, and this can be performed through a minimal invasive or open procedure. All this in combination with nerve sparing and/or sentinel node technique. Level 1 evidence for the oncological safety of all these modifications is only available from 3 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two RCTs on more or less radical parametrectomy both showed that oncological safety was not compromised by doing less radical surgery. Because of the heterogeneity of the patient population and the high frequency of adjuvant radiotherapy, the true impact of surgical radicality cannot be assessed. Regarding the issue of oncological safety of fertility sparing treatments, case-control and retrospective case series suggest that trachelectomy is safe as long as the tumor diameter does not exceed 2 cm. Recently, both a RCT and 2 case-control studies showed a survival benefit for open surgery compared to minimally invasive surgery, whereas many previous case-control and retrospective case series on this subject did not show impaired oncological safety. In a case-control study the survival benefit for open surgery was restricted to the group of patients with a tumor diameter more than 2 cm. Although modifications of the traditional open RH seem safe for tumors with a diameter less than 2 cm, ongoing prospective RCTs and observational studies should give the final answer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e30
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

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