Purpose: We aimed to assess the impact of low-volume metastasis (micrometastasis and isolated tumor cells) on disease-free survival (DFS) of women with early-stage cervical cancer.
Methods: Women with clinically suspected stage 1A-IB2 (FIGO 2018 classification) disease who underwent retroperitoneal nodal staging between October 2010 and April 2018, were retrospectively analyzed. The group of women who had undergone lymphadenectomy and standard node pathologic analysis (H&E group), were compared to the group undergoing sentinel node mapping (SLN) and ultrastaging with or without lymphadenectomy (ultrastaging group). At a median follow-up of 45 months, the DFS curves were analyzed.
Results: Overall, 573 patients were revised (272 in the H&E group and 302 in the ultrastaging group). Eighty-five patients presented lymph node metastasis (32 in H&E, 53 in ultrastaging). Ultrastaging protocol increased the rate of low-volume metastasis by 5.6%. Twenty patients showed exclusive micrometastasis or ITC's. Seventy-three recurrences occurred (35 in H&E, 38 in ultrastaging). Only 1 out of 53 patients in the ultrastaging group (1.9%) presented with micrometastasis recurred. The 3-year disease-free survival was 89% for the H&E group, and 88% for the ultrastaging group, respectively (p = 0.175).
Conclusion: Ultrastaging analysis allowed increasing the detection of low volume metastasis in women with early-stage cervical cancer. However, the type of nodal staging did not have an impact on patients' 3-year disease-free survival.
- Cervical cancer
- Low volume metastases
- Progression-free survival
- Sentinel node