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Unfavorable Prognosis of Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix: A Retrospective Matched Case-Control Study
  1. Shin Wha Lee, MD, PhD*,
  2. Joo-Hyun Nam, MD, PhD*,
  3. Dae-Yeon Kim, MD, PhD*,
  4. Jong-Hyeok Kim, MD, PhD*,
  5. Kyu-Rae Kim, MD, PhD,
  6. Yong-Man Kim, MD, PhD* and
  7. Young-Tak Kim, MD, PhD*
  1. *Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
  2. Departments of Pathology, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Joo-Hyun Nam, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Asan Medical Center, 388-1 Pungnap-2dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea, 138-736. E-mail: jhnam{at}


Objectives: This study was a matched case-control study to analyze the clinical and pathological characteristics and the prognosis of patients with small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma in the uterine cervix.

Patients and Methods: Thirty-two patients were treated for small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the cervix (SCNEC) at Asan Medical Center between January 1996 and June 2008. For a 1-to-2 matched case-control study, 64 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCC) whose clinical stage and age are consistent with the SCNEC group were selected. Medical records were retrospectively reviewed to analyze and compare the clinical and pathological outcomes.

Results: In the SCNEC group, the median age was 45 years, and early stage (stage IIA or below) was 75.0%. The postoperative adjuvant therapy was given more frequently in the SCNEC group. The recurrence rate was 59.4%, and lung, bone, and liver were common sites in the SCNEC group. Parametrial involvement and lymphovascular space invasion were risk factors in the SCNEC group, whereas lymph node metastasis is the risk factor in the SCC group. The progression-free survival and overall survival were significantly shorter in the SCNEC group than in the SCC group (16.9 and 30.6 months vs 47.7 and 49.1 months, P < 0.05). Interestingly, survival outcomes in the early stage of SCNEC were remarkably worse than those of SCC and almost identical to those of the advanced stage of SCNEC.

Conclusion: We confirmed the unfavorable prognosis related to hematogenous metastasis in SCNEC. The treatment modality of early-stage SCNEC, which is radical hysterectomy followed by adjuvant therapy, needs to be reevaluated.

  • Small cell carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • Cervical cancer
  • Prognosis

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