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Conservative Therapy in Microinvasive Adenocarcinoma of the Uterine Cervix is Justified: An Analysis of 59 Cases and a Review of the Literature
  1. Astrid Baalbergen, MD*,
  2. Frank Smedts, PhD and
  3. Theo J.M. Helmerhorst, PhD
  1. * Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
  2. Pathology, Reinier de Graaf Hospital, Delft; and
  3. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Astrid Baalbergen, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reinier de Graaf Hospital, PO Box 5011, 2600 GA Delft, the Netherlands. E-mail: baalbergen{at}


Objective This study aimed to evaluate the treatment and follow-up in a large series of women with early cervical adenocarcinoma (AC), stages IA1 and IA2, and to perform an extensive review of the literature in an effort to ascertain whether conservative therapy is justified.

Methods Records of 59 cases of microinvasive AC diagnosed between 1987 and 2006 in the Rotterdam district, the Netherlands, were retrieved. Clinical and pathological data were reviewed and analyzed. A mesh review of all relevant literature concerning stage IA1 and IA2 was performed.

Results Of all patients, 33 had stage IA1 and 26 stage IA2 cervical AC. Also, 42 patients were treated conservatively (ie, conization or simple hysterectomy) and 17 patients were treated radically (ie, radical hysterectomy/trachelectomy with lymph node dissection). Recurrence occurred in 1 patient (1.7%) with stage IA1 disease (grade 1 adenocarcinoma, depth 1.4 mm, and width 3.8 mm, with lymph vascular space involvement [LVSI]) treated by vaginal hysterectomy. The mean follow-up was 79.9 months. From the literature, pooling all data from patients with stage IA1 and IA2 AC, the risk of recurrent disease was 1.5% after conservative therapy and 2.0% after radical therapy.

Conclusions Extensive treatment such as radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection or trachelectomy does not prevent recurrent disease. Patients with microinvasive AC should be treated identically to patients with SCC. In stage IA1 and IA2 AC, we recommend conservative therapy (by conization). In cases with LVSI, an additional lymphadenectomy is advised. For patients with stage IA2 AC with LVSI, a trachelectomy/radical hysterectomy with lymph node dissection should be considered.

  • Microinvasive adenocarcinoma
  • Uterine cervix
  • Therapy

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  • The authors did not receive financial support for this study.