Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the treatment outcomes and adverse effects of radical hysterectomy followed by adjuvant radiotherapy with definitive radiotherapy alone in patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical cancer.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of FIGO stage IIB cervical cancer patients who were treated between April 1996 and December 2009. During the study period, 95 patients were treated with radical hysterectomy, all of which received adjuvant radiotherapy (surgery-based group). In addition, 94 patients received definitive radiotherapy alone (RT-based group). The recurrence rate, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and treatment-related complications were compared between the two groups.
Results: Radical hysterectomy followed by adjuvant radiotherapy resulted in comparable recurrence (44.2% versus 41.5%, p=0.77), PFS (log-rank, p=0.57), and OS rates (log-rank, p=0.41) to definitive radiotherapy alone. The frequencies of acute grade 3-4 toxicities were similar between the two groups (24.2% versus 24.5%, p=1.0), whereas the frequencies of grade 3-4 late toxicities were significantly higher in the surgery-based group than in the RT-based group (24.1% versus 10.6%, p=0.048). Cox multivariate analyses demonstrated that treatment with surgery followed by adjuvant radiotherapy was associated with an increased risk of grade 3-4 late toxicities, although the statistical significance of the difference was marginal (odds ratio 2.41, 95%CI 0.97-5.99, p=0.059).
Conclusions: Definitive radiotherapy was found to be a safer approach than radical hysterectomy followed by postoperative radiotherapy with less treatment-related complications and comparable survival outcomes in patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical cancer.
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