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Occult tumor cells in surgical specimens from cases of early cervical cancer treated by liposuction-assisted nerve-sparing radical hysterectomy
  1. L.-C. E. Horn1,
  2. U. Fischer2 and
  3. M. Höckel2
  1. 1Institute of Pathology, Gynaecopathology
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Leipzig
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Lars-Christian Horn, MD, Institute of Pathology, Gynecopathology, University of Leipzig, Liebigstrasse 26, Leipzig, D-04103, Germany. Email: hornl{at}


Tumor recurrence in patients with cervical cancer after primary radical surgery with complete tumor resection (R0) may be caused by occult tumor cell deposits (OTCD) in potentially tumor-bearing pelvic tissue. New surgical techniques, like liposuction-assisted nerve-sparing radical abdominal hysterectomy (LANS-RH) might be performed to remove this tissue. In a preliminary study of 30 cases, treated with LANS-RH, the liposuction specimens were examined on hematoxylin & eosin (H&E)-stained step sections and at immunohistochemical levels, using the antibody cocktails MNF 116 and AE1/AE3 for cytokeratins to detect occult tumor cells.

In nine cases microscopically tumor-free lymph nodes were detected in the liposuction material. One case presented lymphovascular space involvement in the capsular region of a node on H&E stained slides. Two additional cases showed tumor cell deposits in pelvic perinodal fatty tissue on immunohistochemical examination. We conclude that the LANS-RH technique is capable of resecting potentially tumor-bearing pelvic tissue. Careful histologic handling and immunohistochemical techniques may improve the detection of OTCD.

  • cervical cancer
  • immunohistochemistry
  • occult tumor cells
  • operation
  • prognosis

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