Survival following extended field irradiation in carcinoma of cervix metastatic to para-aortic lymph nodes

Gynecol Oncol. 2000 Dec;79(3):399-405. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2000.5977.


Objective: Our goal was to determine survival after extended-field treatment of para-aortic lymph node (PALN) metastasis.

Methods: Thirty-five patients were treated from 1975-1989 for PALN metastasis. The FIGO stages were IB 10, 2A 3, IIB 9, IIIA 1, IIIB 10, 4A 1, and unstaged 1. The diagnosis in 34 patients was by operative staging and in 1 by CT scan and fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Twelve patients had microscopic PALN metastasis (PALN1) and 23 had grossly enlarged lymph nodes (PALN2). Thirty-four patients had extended-field radiotherapy (RT) plus brachytherapy or pelvic boost. Kaplan-Meier estimates were computer calculated for the entire population. Late radiation morbidity was classified by RTOG/EORTC criteria.

Results: The 5-year overall survival rate was approximately 29%. Four patients (3 stage IB, 1 stage IIIA) survived without recurrence. All four had extended field RT. The 5-year survival rate was 41.7% for PALN1 cases and 26.1% for PALN2 cases. Three patients (8.6%) had Grade 4 morbidity.

Conclusions: PALN metastasis in stage IB is curable in approximately 30% of cases. The management approach in this series in stage IB was as follows: If PALN metastasis was identified at exploration for radical hysterectomy, the procedure was aborted and extended-field RT administered. In stages IIB through IVA, operative staging or CT scanning with FNA biopsy of suspicious PALN was performed. If PALN metastasis was confirmed, extended-field RT was administered. A 35% 5-year survival rate was observed in the advanced group. The value of chemotherapy for PALN metastasis remains to be defined but results from clinical trials suggest that cisplatin-based chemotherapy may be beneficial.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aorta
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Irradiation / adverse effects
  • Lymphatic Irradiation / methods*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Survival Analysis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / radiotherapy*