ASO Author Reflections: Conization Before Radical Hysterectomy Improves Disease-Free Survival in Early Stage Cervical Cancer

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Abstract

Past A well-known randomized study demonstrated that minimally invasive radical hysterectomy was associated with poorer disease-free and overall survival in patients with early stage cervical cancer, when compared with an open approach.1 Despite not yet understanding the technical reasons for this result, different options have been proposed to explain the difference in oncological outcomes. One of these is potential peritoneal ‘contamination’ at time of colpotomy: this possibility is intuitively more likely in cases of bulky tumors.2,3 In this context, conization before radical hysterectomy may reduce the risk of peritoneal exposure to cancer tissue, maintaining the oncological safety of the surgical procedure. Very few studies have investigated the impact of conization in cervical cancer survival, demonstrating an association between conization and reduced risk of recurrence.3 Present In this multicenter, retrospective, observational cohort study, we analyzed the survival outcomes of a population of FIGO 2009 stage IB1 cervical cancer, by comparing the group that underwent conization with the group that did not undergo conization before radical hysterectomy. Three hundred and thirty-two patients (166, 50% in each group) were included after balance with a propensity match analysis. On the conization specimens, 14.4% and 85.6% of patients had negative and positive surgical margins, respectively. However, 41.6% of conization patients did not have residual tumor on the hysterectomy specimen, therefore significantly reducing the risk of peritoneal tumor ‘contamination’. Patients undergoing conization before radical hysterectomy were less likely to receive adjuvant treatment (p < 0.001) and had a better 5-year disease-free survival than patients who did not receive conization (89.8% vs. 80.0%, respectively; p = 0.010). No difference in 5-year overall survival (97.1% vs. 91.4%, respectively; p = 0.114) and in recurrence pattern (p = 0.115) was reported between the two groups. Conization before radical hysterectomy and tumor diameter ≤ 20 mm were independently associated with reduced risk of recurrence. Future More and more evidence supports the role of protecting maneuvers performed at the time of radical hysterectomy to avoid peritoneal exposure to tumor cells. Amongst these, the avoidance of using a uterine manipulator, the closure of the vaginal cuff and, now, pre-operative conization, can be listed as actions aimed at reducing or eliminating the risk of peritoneal tumor contamination during minimally invasive surgery.4 Nevertheless, at the moment, most international guidelines and societies’ statements are cautious regarding the use of minimally invasive radical hysterectomy, particularly for tumors > 20 mm, unless within the setting of clinical trials. Prospective randomized trials are ongoing to further confirm or deny the detrimental effect of a minimally invasive approach to radical hysterectomy.5 Importantly, these trials promote or aim to assess the use of protective maneuvers to avoid peritoneal tumor exposure at the time of colpotomy, and conization could be proposed as one of these. Nevertheless, a randomized trial to specifically compare the survival of patients undergoing or not undergoing pre-operative conization, may be necessary in the future to better define and personalize the correct management of early stage cervical cancer. References 1. Ramirez PT, Frumovitz M, Pareja R, et al. Minimally Invasive versus abdominal radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer. N Engl J Med. 2018;379(20):1895–904. Article Google Scholar 2. Pedone Anchora L, Bizzarri N, Kucukmetin A, et al. Investigating the possible impact of peritoneal tumor exposure amongst women with early stage cervical cancer treated with minimally invasive approach. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2020;7983(20):30829–5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejso.2020.09.038. 3. Casarin J, Bud
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • locally advanced cervical cancer, surgery

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