Objective: Lymph node involvement is an important prognostic factor in patients with cervical cancer. However, the prognostic significance of lymph node response to chemoradiotherapy remains unclear. We retrospectively analyzed the relationship between residual lymph node status after definitive chemoradiotherapy and survival.
Methods: We enrolled 117 patients with node-positive cervical cancer. All patients were treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy in our institution, from 2006 to 2016. The median follow-up period was 41months (range, 6-128months). The criterion for a positive lymph node was defined as a maximum short axis diameter of ≥8mm on pretreatment magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)/computed tomography (CT) scans. Posttreatment pelvic MRI was obtained 3months after the completion of chemoradiotherapy. Residual primary tumor was defined as any residual lesion identified upon clinical examination and/or MRI. Residual lymph node was defined as any lymph node with a short axis diameter of ≥8mm posttreatment, according to MRI/CT.
Results: At follow-up, 3months after chemoradiotherapy, we observed residual primary tumor in 30 patients (25.6%), and residual lymph node in 31 patients (26.5%). The presence of residual lymph node was associated with worse overall survival according to multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 3.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.43-6.44; p=0.004). In the 5-year time-dependent ROC analysis of survival prediction, the presence of residual lymph node showed an AUC value of 0.72.
Conclusions: The presence of residual lymph node after chemoradiotherapy was associated with worse survival in patients with node-positive cervical cancer.
Keywords: Cervical cancer; Chemoradiotherapy; Lymph node.
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