Prognostic Performance of the 2018 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Cervical Cancer Staging Guidelines

Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Jul;134(1):49-57. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003311.


Objective: To examine the prognostic performance of the revised 2018 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) cervical cancer staging schema.

Methods: We used the National Cancer Database to identify women with cervical cancer diagnosed from 2004 to 2015. Using clinical and pathologic data, each patient's stage was classified using three staging schemas: American Joint Committee on Cancer 7th edition, FIGO 2009 and FIGO 2018. The FIGO 2018 revised staging classifies stage IB tumors into three substages based on tumor size (IB1-IB3) and classifies patients with positive lymph nodes (pathologically or clinically detected) as stage IIIC1 (positive pelvic nodes) or IIIC2 (positive para-aortic nodes). Five-year survival rates were estimated for each stage grouping. We sought to determine whether the 2018 FIGO staging system was able to offer improved 5-year survival rate differentiation compared with older staging schemas.

Results: A total of 62,212 women were identified. The classification of stage IB tumors into three substages improved discriminatory ability. Five-year survival in the FIGO 2018 schema was 91.6% (95% CI 90.4-92.6%) for stage IB1 tumors, 83.3% (95% CI 81.8-84.8%) for stage IB2 neoplasms, and 76.1% (95% CI 74.3-77.8%) for IB3 lesions. In contrast, for women with stage III tumors, higher FIGO staging was not consistently associated with worse 5-year survival rates: stage IIIA (40.7%, 95 CI 37.1-44.3%), stage IIIB (41.4%; 95% CI 39.9-42.9%), stage IIIC1 (positive pelvic nodes) was 60.8% (95% CI 58.7-62.8%) and stage IIIC2 37.5% (95% CI 33.3-41.7%).

Conclusion: The FIGO 2018 staging schema provides improved discriminatory ability for women with stage IB tumors; however, classification of all women with positive lymph nodes into a single stage results in a very heterogeneous group of patients with highly variable survival rates.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / mortality
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Gynecology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging / classification
  • Neoplasm Staging / standards*
  • Obstetrics
  • Prognosis
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*