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Ovarian transposition in patients with cervical cancer prior to pelvic radiotherapy: a systematic review


Ovarian transposition aims to minimize ovarian exposure and damage during pelvic radiotherapy. One or both ovaries are separated from the uterus and mobilized away from the area where the radiation will be administered. A review of the available literature was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ovarian transposition among pre-menopausal women diagnosed with cervical cancer and eligible for pelvic radiotherapy. Outcomes evaluated were ovarian function preservation and complication rates. We also searched for information on pregnancy/live birth rates after ovarian transposition. Our search yielded a total of 635 manuscripts, of which 33 were considered eligible. A total of 28 full texts were selected for the current review, including 1377 patients who underwent ovarian transposition. The median or mean follow-up ranged between 7 and 87 months. Ovarian function preservation after ovarian transposition and pelvic radiotherapy, with or without chemotherapy, was 61.7% (431/699 patients), ranging from 16.6% to 100%. A total of 12 studies reported on 117 complications, accounting for 8.5%. Ovarian metastases were described in 5 (0.4%). Data about fertility preservation after ovarian transposition are scarce and definitive conclusions cannot be drawn. Based on the available data, ovarian transposition could be performed on young patients with tumors smaller than 4 cm, and it should be avoided in those with bulky tumors. A risk/benefit assessment should be carefully evaluated by a multidisciplinary team, and the decision regarding ovarian transposition should be always guided by the values and informed preferences of the patient.

  • cervical cancer
  • radiotherapy

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