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Pelvic exenterations for gynecological malignancies: twenty-year experience at Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  1. S. Sharma,
  2. K. Odunsi,
  3. D. Driscoll and
  4. S. Lele
  1. Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Shashikant Lele, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Surgery, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA. Email: shashi.lele{at}


The objective of this study is to review the experience with pelvic exenterations for gynecological malignancies at our cancer institute. Charts of 48 women who underwent a pelvic exenteration between January 1980 and December 1999 were reviewed, and several outcomes were analyzed. Majority of patients had received prior radiation therapy. The median survival was 35 months, and the disease-free survival was 32 months. Mortality from the procedure was 4.2%. Early and late postoperative complication rates were 27% and 75%, respectively. Recurrence rate was 60%. Eight patients received intraoperative radiation. Median survival in this group was 11.3 vs 35 months (P = 0.003). Univariate analysis failed to show an association between type of pelvic exenteration, type of fecal and urinary diversion, outcome, need for reoperation, and recurrence.

Contemporary pelvic exenterations are associated with a low mortality and a potential for long-term survival in a subset of patients who historically have been given a poor prognosis. In patients with recurrent gynecological cancer confined centrally to the pelvis, pelvic exenteration still remains the choice of therapy as response to chemotherapy to a centrally recurrent tumor in radiated area continues to be poor. Intraoperative radiation in select few patients needs to be further studied.

  • complications
  • gynecological malignancy
  • intraoperative radiation
  • pelvic exenteration
  • survival

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