Comparison of outcomes between abdominal, minimally invasive and combined vaginal-laparoscopic hysterectomy in patients with stage IAI/IA2 cervical cancer: 4C (Canadian Cervical Cancer Collaborative) study


      • There was no difference in RFS by surgical approach (MIS/open/CVLH) in patients with Stage IA1/IA2 cervical cancer.
      • This suggests that for microinvasive cervical cancer, MIS is safe and feasible.
      • Similar results were found in patients with Stage IAI LVSI+/IA2.
      • There were no differences in peri-operative complications between surgical groups.
      • Patients undergoing MIS had a shorter median length of stay but more ER visits.



      Although minimally invasive hysterectomy (MIS-H) has been associated with worse survival compared to abdominal hysterectomy (AH) for cervical cancer, only 8% of patients in the LACC trial had microinvasive disease (Stage IA1/IA2). We sought to determine differences in outcome among patients undergoing MIS-H, AH or combined vaginal-laparoscopic hysterectomy (CVLH) for microinvasive cervical cancer.


      A retrospective cohort study of all patients undergoing hysterectomy (radical and non radical) for FIGO 2018, microinvasive cervical cancer across 10 Canadian centers between 2007 and 2019 was performed. Recurrence free survival (RFS) was estimated using Kaplan Meier Survival analysis. Chi-square and log-rank tests were used to compare outcomes.


      423 patients with microinvasive cervical cancer were included; 259 (61.2%) Stage IA1 (22/8.5% with LVSI) and 164(38.8%) IA2. The median age was 44 years (range 24–81). The most frequent histology was squamous (59.4%). Surgical approach was: 50.1% MIS-H (robotic or laparoscopic), 35.0% AH and 14.9% CVLH. Overall, 70.9% underwent radical hysterectomy and 76.5% had pelvic lymph node assessment. There were 16 recurrences (MIS-H:4, AH:9, CVLH: 3). No significant difference in 5-year RFS was found (96.7% MIS-H, 93.7% AH, 90.0% CVLH, p = 0.34).
      In a sub-analysis of patients with IA1 LVSI+/IA2(n = 186), survival results were similar. Further, there was no significant difference in peri-operative complications (p = 0.19). Patients undergoing MIS-H had a shorter median length of stay(0 days vs 3 (AH) vs. 1.5 (CVLH), p < 0.001), but had more ER visits (16.0% vs 3.6% (AH), 3.5% (CVLH), p = 0.036).


      In this cohort, including only patients with microinvasive cervical cancer, no difference in recurrence was found by surgical approach. This may be due to the low rate of recurrence making differences hard to detect or due to a true lack of difference. Hence, this patient population may benefit from MIS without compromising oncologic outcomes.


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