Fertility-Sparing Surgery versus Radical Hysterectomy in Early Cervical Cancer: A Propensity Score Matching Analysis and Noninferiority Study

J Pers Med. 2022 Jun 30;12(7):1081. doi: 10.3390/jpm12071081.


Objective: Fertility-sparing surgery (FSS) is the treatment of choice for patients with early cervical cancer (ECC) and fertility desire, but survival rates compared to radical hysterectomy (RH) have been scarcely reported. The aim of this study was to analyse the oncological outcomes of FSS compared to a balanced group of standard RH.

Methods: A retrospective multicentre study of ECC patients who underwent FSS or RH was carried out in 12 tertiary hospitals in Spain between January 2005 and January 2019. The experimental group included patients who underwent a simple and radical trachelectomy, and the control group included patients who underwent RH. Optimal 1:1 propensity score (PS) matching analysis was performed to balance the series.

Results: The study included 222 patients with ECC; 111 (50%) were treated with FSS, and 111 (50%) were treated with RH. After PS matching, a total of 38 patients in the FSS group and 38 patients in the RH group were analysed. In both groups, the overall survival (HR 2.5; CI 0.89, 7.41) and recurrence rates (28.9% in the FSS group vs. 13.2% in RH group) were similar. The rate of disease-free survival at 5 years was 68.99% in the FSS group and 88.01% in the RH group (difference of -19.02 percentage points; 95% CI -32.08 to -5.96 for noninferiority). In the univariate analysis, only tumour size reached statistical significance.

Conclusion: FSS offers excellent disease-free and overall survival in women with ECC with fertility desire and is not inferior compared to RH.

Keywords: early cervical cancer; fertility preservation treatment; fertility-sparing surgery; minimally invasive surgery; radical hysterectomy; trachelectomy.

Grants and funding

This work received financial support from the Medtronic University Chair for Training and Surgical Research, University Jaume I (UJI), Castellon, Spain.