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Staging early cervical cancer in China: data from a multicenter collaborative
  1. Weifeng Zhang1,
  2. Chunlin Chen1,
  3. Ping Liu1,
  4. Weili Li1,
  5. Min Hao2,
  6. Weidong Zhao3,
  7. Anwei Lu4 and
  8. Yan Ni5
  1. 1 Department of Gynecology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
  2. 2 Shanxi Medical University Second Affiliated Hospital, Taiyuan, China
  3. 3 Department of Gynecological Oncology, Anhui Provincial Cancer Hospital, Hefei, China
  4. 4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Guizhou Provincial Maternal and Child Health Care Hospital, Guiyang, China
  5. 5 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yuncheng Municipal Central Hospital, Yunchen, China
  1. Correspondence to Chunlin Chen, Department of Gynecology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China; ccl1{at}


Background In 2018 the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) revised the staging system of cervical cancer. This study aimed to assess the quality of staging early cervical cancer in China before the revision.

Methods This multicenter retrospective study included 34 tertiary hospitals in China. Medical records of patients with cervical cancer who underwent primary surgical treatment between January 2010 and December 2015 were reviewed retrospectively. All patients were clinically staged according to the 2009 FIGO staging system. Eligibility criteria included: histopathologically confirmed cervical cancer; 2009 FIGO stage IA–IIA2 based on 2009 FIGO staging system; primary surgical treatment including extrafascial, type II or type III radical hysterectomy; radical trachelectomy; with or without pelvic lymphadenectomy; regardless of surgical route via laparotomy or laparoscopy; and complete clinical and pathological data. Patients who received non-surgical treatment, neoadjuvant treatment, or those with incomplete data were excluded. The accuracy of clinical staging was assessed by comparison between clinical and pathologic stage using the latter as the reference standard.

Results A total of 23 933 cases of cervical cancer were identified and 12 681 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Of these patients, 69.6% were staged accurately, 9.4% were clinically understaged, and 21.0% were clinically overstaged. The accuracy of stage IA, IB1, IB2, IIA1, and IIA2 was 90.0%, 87.5%, 57.4%, 20.3%, and 25.5%, respectively. The causes of stage inaccuracy were as follows: vaginal involvement (62.3%), maximal tumor diameter (24.6%), extent of cervical stromal invasion (7.1%), parametrial invasion (5.8%), bladder or rectal infiltration (0.1%), and distant metastases (0.1%).

Conclusion The accuracy of staging early cervical cancer in China was suboptimal before the revision of the staging system, especially for IIA1 and IIA2. The most common reasons for staging inaccuracy were vaginal involvement and tumor diameter.

  • cervical cancer
  • uterine cervical neoplasm
  • staging
  • quality
  • early stage

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  • Contributors CLC contributed to the design of the study, data collection, data interpretation, and revising the manuscript. WFZ contributed to the design of the study, data collection and analysis, and writing the manuscript. PL contributed to data interpretation and revising the manuscript, WLL, MH, WDZ, AWL, and YN contributed to data collection, interpretation and revising the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding This work was supported by grants from the National Science & Technology Pillar Program of China during the 12th Five-year Plan period (2014BAI05B03), Key project of the Science Program of Guangzhou for Collaborative Health and Medicine Innovation (201508020264), and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong, China (2015A030311024).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.