Background: The purpose of this analysis was to identify pathologic risk factors for recurrence and patterns of recurrence in patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Stage IB and IIA cervical carcinoma and negative pelvic lymph nodes after radical hysterectomy.
Methods: During the period 1982-1991, 271 clinically staged patients with Stage IB or IIA cervical carcinoma underwent a Wertheim-Okabayashi radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection. The study group was composed of 196 lymph node negative patients. Pathology slides were reviewed and multivariate analysis performed to identify independent prognostic factors.
Results: The recurrence rate in the study group was 7.7%. In multivariate analysis, the following factors were identified as independent risk factors for recurrence: adenocarcinoma (P = 0.003), depth of invasion as a fraction of tumor penetration of the cervical stroma (P = 0.01), and an extensive stromal inflammatory cell infiltrate (P = 0.04). Based on these factors, the following risk groups were identified: a low risk group (N = 140, 5-year disease free interval [DFI] = 97%) and a high risk group (N = 55, 5-year DFI = 81%). An evaluation of the recurrence patterns for these patients showed a predominance of pelvic recurrences.
Conclusions: This study showed that among patients with Stage IB and IIA cervical carcinoma and negative pelvic lymph nodes, a subset with a significant risk for recurrence could be identified. Because the majority of recurrences in the lymph node negative group were pelvic recurrences, the value of adjuvant radiotherapy as a treatment for selected lymph node negative patients should be evaluated in a prospective study.