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
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