JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The clinical outcome of patients with stage Ia1 and Ia2 squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix: a Cooperation Task Force (CTF) study.

PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATION: The objective of this retrospective multicenter study was to assess the clinical outcome of patients with microinvasive squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

METHODS: The hospital records of 166 patients with microinvasive squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix were reviewed. All cases were retrospectively staged according the 1994 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) nomenclature. One hundred and forty-three cases were in Stage Ia1 and 23 in Stage Ia2 disease. Surgery consisted of conization alone in 30 (18.1%) patients, total hysterectomy in 82 (49.4%), and radical hysterectomy in 54 (32.5%). All patients in whom conization was the definite treatment had Stage Ia1 disease and had cone margins negative for intraepithelial or invasive lesions.

RESULTS: None of the 67 patients submitted to pelvic lymphadenectomy had histologically proven metastatic lymph nodes. Of the 166 patients, eight (4.8%) had an intraepithelial recurrence and four (2.4%) had an invasive recurrence. With regard to FIGO substage, disease recurred in nine (6.3%) out of 143 patients with Stage Ia1 and three (13.0%) out of 23 with Stage Ia2 cervical cancer. With regard to type of surgery, disease recurred in three (10.0%) out of the patients treated with conization alone, four (4.9%) out those who underwent total hysterectomy, and five (9.3%) out of those who underwent radical hysterectomy. It is worth noting that none of the 30 patients treated with conization alone had recurrent invasive cancer after a median follow-up of 45 months. However three (10%) of these patients developed a cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) III after 16, 33, and 94 months, respectively, from conization.

CONCLUSIONS: Conization can represent the definite treatment for patients with Stage Ia1 squamous cell cervical cancer, if cone margins and apex are disease-free. For patients with Stage Ia2 cervical cancer extrafascial hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy might be an adequate standard therapy, although the need for lymph node dissection is questionable.

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