From the Journals

Trachelectomy rate for early-stage cervical cancer rises to 17% in younger women



More young women with early-stage cervical cancer are opting for fertility-sparing trachelectomy, based on a recent analysis of the National Cancer Database.

Of 15,150 patients analyzed, the vast majority (97.1%) underwent hysterectomy, but trachelectomy performance increased from 1.5% (95% confidence interval, 0.8%-2.2%; P less than .001) in 2004 to 3.8% (95% CI, 2.7%-4.8%; P less than .001) by 2014. The increase was mostly seen among women younger than 30 years old. In that group, trachelectomy increased from 4.6% (95% CI, 1.0%-8.2%; P less than .001) in 2004 to 17% (95% CI, 10.2%-23.7%; P less than .001) in 2014. Rates among women aged 30-49 years were relatively stable over the same period.

“A possible explanation for this rise in trachelectomy is the trend in delayed childbearing in women in the United States,” wrote Rosa R. Cui, MD, a resident at Columbia University, New York, and her coauthors.

In the analysis, mortality risk and 5-year survival rates were similar between the two procedures. Overall cohort 5-year survival was nearly identical with hysterectomy and trachelectomy at 92.4% and 92.3%, respectively. For stages IA2, IB1, and IB not specified, tumor stage was not associated with differences in 5-year survival for the two procedures. As few patients with stage IB2 tumors received trachelectomy, that data was excluded from the analysis.

Though increasing tumor size made trachelectomy less likely, 30% of patients in the study who underwent trachelectomy had a tumor greater than 2 cm in diameter, and 4% had a tumor greater than 4 cm in diameter. The researchers noted studies published in the past few years suggest abdominal radical trachelectomy may be a safe option for larger tumors, compared with vaginal trachelectomy. In the current analysis, they did not find a statistically significant decrease in survival for trachelectomy patients with tumors greater than 2 cm in diameter, but the sample size was small.

“The trachelectomy procedure has evolved significantly since it was initially described and now encompasses several approaches,” and can be performed more or less conservatively depending on the diagnosis “without compromising outcomes,” wrote Dr. Cui and her coauthors.

The researchers noted that the National Cancer Database does not have data on fertility outcomes, a possible focus of future studies of trachelectomy.

Two coauthors disclosed grants and a fellowship from the National Cancer Institute, and others disclosed consulting for several pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Teva, and Eisai.

SOURCE: Cui RR et al. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jun;131(6):1085-94.

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