Clinical Study

The role of pre-treatment paraaortic surgical staging for cervical cancer in the EMBRACE criteria

3 Nov 2022
Oscar Puga, Javier Retamales, Nicolás Saez, Miguel Urzúa, Miguel Saavedra, María Victoria Pérez, Dania Acuña, Karen García

Background: The State-of-the-Art Treatment for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer (LACC) is Definite Radio-Chemotherapy based on the Image-guided intensity modulated External beam radiochemotherapy and MRI-based adaptive BRAchytherapy (EMBRACE) trial, according to the FIGO staging. This staging is based on clinical examination and imaging studies; however, there are limitations of imaging techniques which may result in adverse events or death due to insufficient or overtreatment. The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility and outcomes of surgical staging in LACC prior to radiotherapy (RT) to personalise target volumes for radiotherapy.

Methods: From 2008 to 2018, 138 patients with FIGO 2018 stages IB3-IIIC2 cervical cancer underwent a pretherapeutic laparoscopic staging procedure. The pathological diagnosis was compared with the results of preoperative CT scan. Patients were treated with chemoradiotherapy tailored according to the staging results.

Results: The mean patient age was 43 years, the mean body mass index was 27 kg/m2; most lesions were squamous cervical cancer (92%). Staging CT scan had a 77% concordance with the histological findings. Sensitivity was 29%, specificity 85%, positive predictive value 21% and negative predictive value 89%. Surgical staging led to change of stage in 24% of cases. Para -aortic dissection led to change the initially planned radiotherapy fields in 47% of the cases. Major complications included involuntary section of the inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) without clinical repercussion, an infected retroperitoneal haematoma and a symptomatic lymphocele requiring laparoscopic drainage.

Conclusion: Laparoscopic staging before primary chemoradiation in patients with LACC was feasible, safe and reproducible, allowing reduction of the radiotherapy treatment volumes of patients.

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