Small volume stage 1B1 cervical cancer: Is radical surgery still necessary?

Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Jul;126(1):73-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2012.03.041. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


Objective: Current surgical treatment of FIGO stage 1B1 cervical cancer is radical surgery. However, several reports have shown that for small tumours a more conservative approach can be as effective in terms of survival, whilst at the same time reducing the morbidity associated with removing the parametrium. The objective of our study was to report survival and obstetric outcomes following conservative management of small-volume stage 1B1 disease.

Methods: All patients with FIGO stage 1B1 cancer and estimated tumour volume of less than 500 mm(3) in a loop biopsy specimen were included in the study, irrespective of other histological characteristics. A second loop biopsy was performed to rule out residual disease in 79% of patients.

Results: Sixty two women were identified with a median age of 35 years (range 27-67). Median tumour length was 9.75 mm (7.2-20) and median depth of invasion was 1.55 mm (0.3-5). Thirty five women (56.4%) were treated with loop biopsy, whilst 27 (45.6%) had simple hysterectomy. Fifty seven women (92%) had pelvic lymphadenectomy and one positive node was recorded. After a median follow up of 56 months (16-132) no recurrence was noted. Seven full term pregnancies have been achieved. There were no preterm deliveries or mid-term miscarriages.

Conclusion: Cervical loop biopsy or simple hysterectomy combined with negative pelvic lymphadenectomy for small-volume stage 1B1 cervical cancer offers excellent prognosis in terms of survival. Postoperative morbidity is reduced and obstetric outcomes may be improved. Should these results be verified by further prospective studies, radical surgery for these women may be avoided.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Conization / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery*