Purpose: To evaluate the outcome of patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) clinical Stage IIIb cervical carcinoma as a function of site of initial regional lymph node metastasis as detected by 2[18F]fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET).
Methods and materials: Forty-seven patients with FIGO Stage IIIb cervical cancer were evaluated before therapy with whole-body FDG-PET. Most patients were treated with external beam irradiation, intracavitary brachytherapy, and weekly cisplatin for six cycles. Overall and cause-specific survival rates were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: The pretreatment whole-body FDG-PET demonstrated that all patients had FDG uptake in the cervix. Of 47 patients, 13 (28%) had no evidence of lymph node metastasis, 20 (43%) had metastasis to pelvic lymph nodes only, 7 (15%) had pelvic and para-aortic lymph node metastases, and 7 (15%) had metastases to pelvic, para-aortic, and supraclavicular lymph nodes. The 3-year estimate of cause-specific survival was 73% for those with no lymph node metastasis, 58% for those with only pelvic lymph node metastasis, 29% for those with pelvic and para-aortic lymph node metastases, and 0% for those with pelvic, para-aortic, and supraclavicular lymph node metastasis (p = 0.0005).
Conclusion: The cause-specific survival for patients with FIGO Stage IIIb carcinoma is highly dependent on the extent of lymph node metastasis as demonstrated by whole-body FDG-PET.