Adenocarcinoma: a unique cervical cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2010 Jan;116(1):140-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2009.09.040. Epub 2009 Oct 31.


Adenocarcinoma of the cervix constitutes only approximately 20% of all cervical carcinomas; therefore, specific Level 1 evidence to guide patient management is lacking. Most trials have included this histologic subtype but in insufficient numbers to do more than generate hypotheses from subset analyses. As a consequence, our understanding of the natural history and optimal management of adenocarcinoma of the cervix is limited. The optimal management of adenocarcinoma of the cervix continues to be a subject of debate among practitioners as to whether or not it should be different from squamous cell carcinoma and what would constitute this management. The purpose of this review was to give an overview of the current knowledge on adenocarcinoma of the cervix and its differences from squamous cell carcinoma with regard to risk factors, prognosis, survival rates, patterns of recurrence, and response to treatment. This article will focus on possible specific therapeutic directions to explore in the management of locally advanced adenocarcinomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / therapy*