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Conization in Early Stage Cervical Cancer: Pattern of Recurrence in a 10-Year Single-Institution Experience
  1. Federica Tomao, PhD, MD*,,
  2. Matteo Maruccio, MD*,,
  3. Eleonora Petra Preti, MD*,
  4. Sara Boveri, MD*,
  5. Enzo Ricciardi, PhD, MD*,,
  6. Vanna Zanagnolo, MD* and
  7. Fabio Landoni, PhD, MD*
  1. *European Institute of Oncology“IEO”, Milan; and
  2. University of Rome“Sapienza,” Rome, Italy.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Federica Tomao, PhD, MD, via Giuseppe Ripamonti 435, 20141 Milan, Italy. E-mail:;


Objective The main objective of this study was to analyze the pattern of recurrence after conization and pelvic lymphadenectomy in early-stage cervical cancer (CC).

Methods We retrospectively identified 60 patients with early-stage CC who referred to the European Institute of Oncology (IEO; Milan, Italy) for fertility-sparing surgery. All of them underwent conization and pelvic lymphadenectomy (one received neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by simple trachelectomy because of the size of the tumor).

Results In total, 54 patients were considered for final analysis; only 23 patients were entirely treated at IEO. Relapse occurred in 7 (13%) of 54 patients, and in 6 cases (86%) it was local. One patient experienced a pelvic lymph node recurrence (in a woman who conceived 4 months after conservative surgery). However, this was an atypical case for site and timing of recurrence with the consistent doubt that the nodal involvement was already present before conization. Thus, analyzing only IEO population, the recurrence rate was lower (9%), becoming 4% excluding the atypical case with nodal involvement.

Conclusions In our series, the relapse was mainly local (on the cervix). However, the pattern of recurrence and recurrence rates after conization and pelvic lymphadenectomy for early-stage CC are still unclear. Further studies, comparing conization with radical trachelectomy, are necessary to confirm that the adoption of this procedure in clinical practice is safe. Our data highlight that the management of such as a particular condition in dedicated and highly specialized centers is mandatory.

  • Early-stage cervical cancer
  • Pattern of recurrence
  • Fertility sparing
  • Conization

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

  • Authors F.T. and M.M. contributed equally to the study.