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Can We Predict Vesicovaginal or Rectovaginal Fistula Formation in Patients With Stage IVA Cervical Cancer?
  1. Petra Biewenga, MD*,
  2. Meike A.Q. Mutsaerts, MD*,
  3. Lukas J. Stalpers, MD, PhD,
  4. Marrije R. Buist, MD, PhD*,
  5. Marten S. Schilthuis, MD, PhD* and
  6. Jacobus Van Der Velden, MD, PhD*
  1. *Departments of Gynecological Oncology and
  2. Departments of Radiotherapy, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Petra Biewenga, MD, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, Academic Medical Center, P.O. Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands. E-mail: p.biewenga{at}amc.uva.nl.

Abstract

Introduction: Patients with cervical carcinoma that invade the bladder or rectum (International Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology stage IVA) have a high risk to develop vesicovaginal and/or rectovaginal fistulae. If we could identify pretreatment factors that predict fistula formation, these patients could be offered less debilitating treatment.

Materials and Methods: Data were retrieved from the database of consecutive patients diagnosed with stage IVA cervical cancer from 1992 to 2008. Overall survival and fistula-free survival were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to study the association between pretreatment prognostic variables and fistula formation.

Results: Thirty patients with stage IVA cervical cancer were diagnosed. Extension to the bladder was present in 27 patients; three patients had only rectal involvement. Twenty-three patients (77%) had curative radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy and/or hyperthermia. Seven patients (23%) received only palliative therapy or no treatment at all. The 5-year overall survival in the curatively treated group was 42%. Five (22%) of these 23 patients developed one or more fistulae: 3 vesicovaginal, 1 rectovaginal, and 1 vesicovaginal and rectovaginal fistulae. The 5-year fistula-free survival of this group was 64%. No significant association was found between the prognostic variables and fistula formation.

Conclusions: The risk to develop vesicovaginal and/or rectovaginal fistulae is high after curative radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy and/or hyperthermia in patients with stage IVA cervical cancer. We could not identify further pretreatment factors that might have predicted fistula formation.

  • Cervical cancer
  • Stage IVA
  • Fistula

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