Stage IB Cervical Cancer
Either radiation therapy or radical hysterectomy and bilateral lymph node dissection results in cure rates of 85% to 90% for women with Féderation Internationale de Gynécologie et d’Obstétrique (FIGO) stages IA2 and IB1 small-volume disease. The choice of either treatment depends on patient factors and available local expertise. A randomized trial reported identical 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival rates when comparing radiation therapy to radical hysterectomy. The size of the primary tumor is an important prognostic factor and should be carefully evaluated in choosing optimal therapy. For adenocarcinomas that expand the cervix more than 4 cm, the primary treatment should be concomitant chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
After surgical staging, patients found to have small volume para-aortic nodal disease and controllable pelvic disease may be cured with pelvic and para-aortic radiation therapy and concomitant chemotherapy. The resection of macroscopically involved pelvic nodes may improve rates of local control with postoperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Treatment of patients with unresected periaortic nodes with extended-field radiation therapy and chemotherapy leads to long-term disease control in those patients with low volume (<2 cm) nodal disease below L3. A single study (RTOG-7920) showed a survival advantage in patients with tumors larger than 4 cm who received radiation therapy to para-aortic nodes without histologic evidence of disease. Toxic effects were greater with para-aortic radiation therapy than with pelvic radiation therapy alone but were mostly confined to patients with prior abdominopelvic surgery. Patients who underwent extraperitoneal lymph node sampling had fewer bowel complications than those who had transperitoneal lymph node sampling.[6,8,9] Patients with close vaginal margins (<0.5 cm) may also benefit from pelvic radiation therapy.
Five randomized, phase III trials have shown an OS advantage for cisplatin-based therapy given concurrently with radiation therapy,[11-16] while one trial examining this regimen demonstrated no benefit. The patient populations in these studies included women with FIGO stages IB2 to IVA cervical cancer treated with primary radiation therapy, and women with FIGO stages I to IIA disease who, at the time of primary surgery, were found to have poor prognostic factors, which included the following:
- Metastatic disease in pelvic lymph nodes.
- Parametrial disease.
- Positive surgical margins.
Although the positive trials vary somewhat in terms of the stage of disease, dose of radiation, and schedule of cisplatin and radiation, the trials demonstrate significant survival benefit for this combined approach. The risk of death from cervical cancer was decreased by 30% to 50% with the use of concurrent chemoradiation therapy. Based on these results, strong consideration should be given to the incorporation of concurrent, cisplatin-based chemotherapy with radiation therapy in women who require radiation therapy for treatment of cervical cancer.[11-19]
Standard treatment options:
- Radiation therapy. External-beam pelvic radiation therapy combined with two or more intracavitary brachytherapy applications is appropriate therapy for stage IA2 and IB1 lesions. Although low-dose rate (LDR) brachytherapy, typically with cesium Cs 137, has been the traditional approach, the use of high-dose rate (HDR) therapy, typically with iridium Ir 192, is rapidly increasing. HDR brachytherapy provides the advantage of eliminating radiation exposure to medical personnel, a shorter treatment time, patient convenience, and outpatient management. In three randomized trials, HDR brachytherapy was comparable with LDR brachytherapy in terms of local-regional control and complication rates.[20-22][Level of evidence: 1iiDii] The American Brachytherapy Society has published guidelines for the use of LDR and HDR brachytherapy as components of cervical cancer treatment.[23,24] For stage IB2 lesions, radiosensitizing chemotherapy is indicated. The role of radiosensitizing chemotherapy in IA2 and IB1 lesions is untested and likely to be of only marginal benefit since the cure rates with radiation alone exceed or approach 90%.
- Radical hysterectomy and bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy.
- Postoperative total pelvic radiation therapy plus chemotherapy following radical hysterectomy and bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy. Radiation in the range of 50 Gy administered for 5 weeks plus chemotherapy with cisplatin with or without fluorouracil (5-FU) should be considered in patients at high risk of recurrence including those with positive pelvic nodes, positive surgical margins, and residual parametrial disease.[11-16]
- Radiation therapy plus chemotherapy with cisplatin or cisplatin/5-FU for patients with bulky tumors.[11-16,25]
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage IB cervical cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.References
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- Eifel PJ, Burke TW, Delclos L, et al.: Early stage I adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix: treatment results in patients with tumors less than or equal to 4 cm in diameter. Gynecol Oncol 41 (3): 199-205, 1991. [PUBMED Abstract]
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- Downey GO, Potish RA, Adcock LL, et al.: Pretreatment surgical staging in cervical carcinoma: therapeutic efficacy of pelvic lymph node resection. Am J Obstet Gynecol 160 (5 Pt 1): 1055-61, 1989. [PUBMED Abstract]
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- Rotman M, Pajak TF, Choi K, et al.: Prophylactic extended-field irradiation of para-aortic lymph nodes in stages IIB and bulky IB and IIA cervical carcinomas. Ten-year treatment results of RTOG 79-20. JAMA 274 (5): 387-93, 1995. [PUBMED Abstract]
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- Estape RE, Angioli R, Madrigal M, et al.: Close vaginal margins as a prognostic factor after radical hysterectomy. Gynecol Oncol 68 (3): 229-32, 1998. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Whitney CW, Sause W, Bundy BN, et al.: Randomized comparison of fluorouracil plus cisplatin versus hydroxyurea as an adjunct to radiation therapy in stage IIB-IVA carcinoma of the cervix with negative para-aortic lymph nodes: a Gynecologic Oncology Group and Southwest Oncology Group study. J Clin Oncol 17 (5): 1339-48, 1999. [PUBMED Abstract]
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- Peters WA 3rd, Liu PY, Barrett RJ 2nd, et al.: Concurrent chemotherapy and pelvic radiation therapy compared with pelvic radiation therapy alone as adjuvant therapy after radical surgery in high-risk early-stage cancer of the cervix. J Clin Oncol 18 (8): 1606-13, 2000. [PUBMED Abstract]
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- Pearcey R, Brundage M, Drouin P, et al.: Phase III trial comparing radical radiotherapy with and without cisplatin chemotherapy in patients with advanced squamous cell cancer of the cervix. J Clin Oncol 20 (4): 966-72, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Rose PG, Bundy BN: Chemoradiation for locally advanced cervical cancer: does it help? J Clin Oncol 20 (4): 891-3, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Chemoradiotherapy for Cervical Cancer Meta-Analysis Collaboration.: Reducing uncertainties about the effects of chemoradiotherapy for cervical cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis of individual patient data from 18 randomized trials. J Clin Oncol 26 (35): 5802-12, 2008. [PUBMED Abstract]
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- Hareyama M, Sakata K, Oouchi A, et al.: High-dose-rate versus low-dose-rate intracavitary therapy for carcinoma of the uterine cervix: a randomized trial. Cancer 94 (1): 117-24, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Lertsanguansinchai P, Lertbutsayanukul C, Shotelersuk K, et al.: Phase III randomized trial comparing LDR and HDR brachytherapy in treatment of cervical carcinoma. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 59 (5): 1424-31, 2004. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Nag S, Chao C, Erickson B, et al.: The American Brachytherapy Society recommendations for low-dose-rate brachytherapy for carcinoma of the cervix. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 52 (1): 33-48, 2002. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Nag S, Erickson B, Thomadsen B, et al.: The American Brachytherapy Society recommendations for high-dose-rate brachytherapy for carcinoma of the cervix. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 48 (1): 201-11, 2000. [PUBMED Abstract]
- Monk BJ, Tewari KS, Koh WJ: Multimodality therapy for locally advanced cervical carcinoma: state of the art and future directions. J Clin Oncol 25 (20): 2952-65, 2007. [PUBMED Abstract]