Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to fertility-sparing surgery in cervical tumors larger than 2 cm: a systematic review on fertility and oncologic outcomes


Background Management of cervical cancer tumors >2 cm has been a subject of controversy, with management often considered as either up-front radical trachelectomy or neoadjuvant chemotherapy before fertility-sparing surgery.

Methods A systematic literature review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) checklist. This study was registered in the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO). We searched Medline through PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, SCOPUS, and OVID between January 1985 and December 2020. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies were English language, randomized controlled trials, and observational studies including information on fertility and oncologic outcomes. All titles were managed in EndNote X7. Risk of bias was evaluated using the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal checklist for observational studies.

Results Twenty-three studies with 205 patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy were included. The majority of patients (92.2%, n=189) had stage IB FIGO 2009 cervical cancer. The preferred regimen used was cisplatin in combination with paclitaxel or ifosfamide (80%, n=164). One hundred and eighty patients (87.8%) underwent fertility-sparing surgery; radical vaginal trachelectomy, abdominal trachelectomy, conization, and simple trachelectomy were performed in 62 (34.4%), 49 (27.2%), 34 (18.9%), and 26 (14.4%) women, respectively. In nine patients (5%) the type of procedure was not specified. The follow-up time reported in all studies ranged between 6 and 69 months. In 112 women who sought a pregnancy after surgery, 84.8% (n=95) achieved a gestation.The global recurrence and death rates were 12.8% and 2.8%, respectively.

Conclusion Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by fertility-sparing surgery is a promising strategy that might allow fertility preservation in highly selected patients with cervical cancer with tumors >2 cm while providing acceptable oncologic outcomes. Results of prospective studies are required to validate its oncological safety.

Systematic review registration number PROSPERO CRD42020203789.

  • cervix uteri
  • cervical cancer

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.