Fertility-sparing trachelectomy for early-stage cervical cancer: A proposal of an ideal candidate

Gynecol Oncol. 2020 Feb;156(2):341-348. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2019.11.021. Epub 2019 Nov 23.


Objective: To propose an ideal patient candidate with early-stage cervical cancer for undergoing fertility-sparing trachelectomy.

Methods: This nationwide, multicenter, retrospective study was conducted by the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology involving women aged <45 years with clinical stage I-II cervical cancer who had planned fertility-sparing trachelectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy between 2009 and 2013 (n = 393). Ideal candidates were defined to have a tumor size of ≤2 cm, no lymph node metastasis, no deep stromal invasion, and no high-risk histology (n = 284, 69.6%). Less-ideal candidates were defined to have any one of these four characteristics (n = 109, 30.4%). Propensity score inverse probability of treatment weighting was used to assess survival outcomes.

Results: Less-ideal candidates were more likely to undergo hysterectomy conversion (22.9% versus 3.2%), receive postoperative radiotherapy (11.9% versus 0.4%), or chemotherapy (32.1% versus 3.2%) compared with ideal candidates (all, P < 0.05). The weighted model revealed that among those who underwent trachelectomy (ideal candidates, n = 275 and less-ideal candidates, n = 84), less-ideal candidates had significantly decreased disease-free survival (5-year rates: 85.5% versus 95.5%; HR 3.93, 95% CI 1.99-7.74; P < 0.001) and cause-specific survival (92.5% versus 98.6%; HR 5.47, 95% CI 1.68-17.8, P = 0.001) compared with ideal candidates. Similarly, less-ideal candidates were significantly associated with decreased disease-free survival compared with ideal candidates among those who were young age, had small tumors or squamous histology, and underwent surgery alone (all, P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Less-ideal candidates had approximately four-fold higher recurrence risk and cancer mortality compared with ideal candidates. Ideal candidates for fertility-sparing trachelectomy for early-stage cervical cancer proposed in our study may be useful as the future framework for developing guidelines for fertility-sparing trachelectomy in Japan.

Keywords: Cervical cancer; Deep stromal invasion; Lymph node metastasis; Survival; Trachelectomy; Tumor size.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Trachelectomy / methods*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery*