Conference Coverage

Cervical cancer recurrence patterns differ after laparoscopic and open hysterectomy



When cervical cancer recurs after radical hysterectomy, the likelihood of recurrence at certain sites and the timing of recurrence may be associated with the surgical approach, according to a retrospective study.

U.S. Air Force Maj. Arthur Greenwood and Capt. Stuart Winkler, 633rd Surgical Operations Squadron obstetricians, use a 3-D scope and glasses while performing a laparoscopic hysterectomy at Langley Air Force Base, Va., June 14, 2016 U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Ciara Gosier

Recurrence tended to occur sooner after minimally invasive surgery than after open abdominal surgery for cervical cancer, according to a propensity-matched analysis of data from 105 patients with recurrence.

And recurrence in the pelvic cavity and peritoneal carcinomatosis were more common after laparoscopic hysterectomy than after open surgery. Overall survival was similar between the groups, however.

The different patterns of recurrence may relate to dissemination of the disease during colpotomy, but the reasons are unknown, study author Giorgio Bogani, MD, PhD, said at the meeting sponsored by AAGL.

To examine patterns of recurrence after laparoscopic and open abdominal radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer, Dr. Bogani of the department of gynecologic surgery at the National Cancer Institute in Milan and colleagues analyzed data from patients with cervical cancer who developed recurrence after surgery at two oncologic referral centers between 1990 and 2018 (Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2020 Jul. doi: 10.1136/ijgc-2020-001381).

The investigators applied a propensity-matching algorithm to reduce possible confounding factors. They matched 35 patients who had recurrence after laparoscopic hysterectomy to 70 patients who had recurrence after open surgery. The groups had similar baseline characteristics.

As in the Laparoscopic Approach to Cervical Cancer (LACC) trial, patients who had minimally invasive surgery were more likely to have a worse disease-free survival, compared with patients who had open surgery, Dr. Bogani said. Patients who underwent laparoscopic radical hysterectomy had a median progression-free survival of 8 months, whereas patients who underwent open abdominal procedures had a median progression-free survival of 15.8 months.

Although vaginal, lymphatic, and distant recurrences were similar between the groups, a greater percentage of patients in the laparoscopic hysterectomy group had recurrence in the pelvic cavity (74% vs. 34%) and peritoneal carcinomatosis (17% vs. 1.5%).

The LACC trial, which found significantly lower disease-free and overall survival with laparoscopic hysterectomy, sent a “shockwave through the gynecologic oncology community” when it was published in 2018, said Masoud Azodi, MD, in a discussion following Dr. Bogani’s presentation.

Researchers have raised questions about that trial’s design and validity, noted Dr. Azodi, director of minimally invasive and robotic surgery at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.

It could be that local recurrences are attributable to surgical technique, rather than to the minimally invasive approach in itself, Dr. Azodi said. Prior studies of laparoscopic hysterectomy for cervical cancer had indicated better surgical outcomes and equivalent oncologic results, relative to open surgery.

Before the LACC trial, Dr. Bogani used the minimally invasive approach for almost all surgeries. Since then, he has performed open surgeries. If he were to use a minimally invasive approach now, it would be in the context of a clinical trial, Dr. Bogani said.

Dr. Bogani and Dr. Azodi had no relevant financial disclosures.

SOURCE: Bogani G et al. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2020 Nov. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2020.08.069.

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