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Vaginal Radical Trachelectomy for Early-Stage Cervical Cancer: Increased Recurrence Risk for Adenocarcinoma
  1. Petra L.M. Zusterzeel, MD, PhD*,
  2. Fraukje J.M. Pol, MD*,
  3. Maaike van Ham, MD, PhD*,
  4. Ronald P. Zweemer, MD, PhD,
  5. Ruud L.M. Bekkers, MD, PhD*,
  6. Leon F.A.G. Massuger, MD, PhD* and
  7. René H.M. Verheijen, MD, PhD
  1. *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands;
  2. Department of Gynecological Oncology, UMC Utrecht C9ncer Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Petra L.M. Zusterzeel, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Radboud University Medical Center, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail:


Objective To evaluate consecutive vaginal radical trachelectomies (VRTs) in early-stage cervical cancer in the 2 main referral centers for fertility-preserving surgery in the Netherlands.

Materials and Methods Oncology, fertility, and obstetrical data were recorded in a regional database of all VRTs without neoadjuvant chemotherapy performed in 2 major referral centers between 2000 and 2015.

Results Most of the patients (91.7%) had stage IB1 disease. In 72.0%, squamous cell carcinoma was the histologic diagnosis; in 24.2%, adenocarcinoma; and in 3.8%, adenosquamous carcinoma. The median follow-up was 51 months.

Nine (6.8%) recurrences occurred, 4 resulting in death of disease (death rate, 3.0%). Recurrence rates were 12.5% for adenocarcinoma, 20% for adenosquamous carcinoma, and 4.2% for squamous cell carcinoma (P < 0.01).

From 117 women, data about fertility and obstetrical outcome were obtained. Almost 60% of women attempted to conceive after a VRT. Of these women, 40% needed fertility treatment. A total of 47 pregnancies were established, and a total of 37 children were born of which 30 (81.1%) were delivered after 32 weeks of gestational age.

Conclusions Nonsquamous cell histology and high-grade disease are associated with a significantly higher risk of recurrence in the univariate and multivariate analyses. Women with both these histology features should be counseled reticently for VRT.

Pregnancies after VRT must be regarded as high-risk pregnancies with a high prematurity rate.

  • Radical vaginal trachelectomy
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Risk factors
  • Recurrence

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.