Pretreatment surgical staging of patients with cervical carcinoma: The case for lymph node debulking

Jonathan A. Cosin, Jeffrey M. Fowler, M. Dwight Chen, Pamela J. Paley, Linda F. Carson, Leo B. Twiggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The routine use of extraperitoneal surgical staging prior to radiation therapy in patients with bulky or locally advanced cervical carcinoma remains controversial. METHODS. A review was performed of 266 patients with cervical carcinoma who underwent extraperitoneal pelvic and paraaortic lymphadenectomy prior to receiving radiotherapy. Patients were divided into groups based on their lymph node status. Group A had negative lymph nodes; Group B had resected, microscopic lymph node metastases; Group C had macroscopically positive lymph nodes that were resectable at the time of surgery; and Group D had unresectable lymph nodes. All patients received standard radiotherapy utilizing external beam and brachytherapy. Patients with lymph node metastases received extended field irradiation. Survival probabilities were computed by the Kaplan-Meier product limits method with statistical significance determined by the Mantel-Cox log rank test. RESULTS. Lymph node metastases were detected in 50% of patients. Five- and 10-year disease free survival rates were similar for all patients in Groups B and C. All patients in Group D recurred. There was a 10.5% incidence of severe radiation-related morbidity and a 1.1% incidence of treatment-related deaths. CONCLUSIONS. Pretreatment extraperitoneal staging of patients with bulky or locally advanced cervical carcinoma may afford a survival benefit via the debulking of macroscopically positive lymph nodes without significantly increasing treatment-related morbidity or mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2241-2248
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 1998


  • Cervical carcinoma
  • Extraperitoneal
  • Pretreatment
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgical staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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