Purpose: Most patients who had any recurrent sites of cancer have been considered to be in their last stage of life. However, recent advances of clinical research reveal some patients achieve long-term survival even in recurrence. Furthermore, for patients who had only one recurrent region, radiation therapy could play an important role. As for uterine cervical carcinoma, the most common recurrent site other than the pelvis is the para-aortic lymph nodes. Thus we conducted the current study.
Patients and methods: Between 1994 and 2003, more than 5,000 uterine cervical carcinoma patients were treated with curative intended treatments at 13 Japanese hospitals. Of these patients, 84 developed para-aortic lymph node recurrence as the only site of initial tumor progression. These patients were treated with external beam radiation therapy. Radiation therapy protocol was as follows: 1.7-2.0 Gy per fraction, 5 fractions per week, and the mean total dose was 50.8 Gy (25-60 Gy).
Results: Three- and 5-year overall survival rates of all patients were 49.5% and 31.3%, respectively. Stratified by symptom sign, 3-year overall survival rate of symptom positive was 27.6% and those of the negative was 56.1% (p = 0.018). Three-year overall survival rates of the total dose > or =51 Gy and that of < or =50 Gy were 58.0% and 42.8%, respectively (p = 0.07). As for morbidity, no patients received Grade 3 or greater late toxicity.
Conclusions: The current study suggested that radiation therapy for isolated para-aortic lymph node recurrence in uterine cervical carcinoma could have a significant impact on survival.