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Patterns and risk factors of recurrence in low-risk early-stage cervical adenocarcinoma treated with surgery alone: implications on risk group stratification


Objective Cervical adenocarcinoma has poorer outcomes compared with squamous cell carcinoma; however, treatment is identical irrespective of histologic sub-types. This study aimed to investigate the patterns and risk factors of recurrence following surgery alone for low-risk early-stage cervical adenocarcinoma.

Methods We retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent surgery alone for low-risk early-stage cervical adenocarcinoma between January 2001 and December 2018 in a single institution. Baseline clinicopathological characteristics were collected to identify the factors associated with recurrence-free survival.

Results A total of 252 patients met the inclusion criteria. Most patients underwent radical hysterectomy (218 patients, 86.5%) and had usual type endocervical adenocarcinoma (190 patients, 75.4%). The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics 2018 stage was IA1 in 72 patients (27.4%), IA2 in 58 (22.1%), IB1 in 51 (19.4%), and IB2 in 71 patients (27.0%). With a median follow-up of 70.4 months (range 6.2–252.5 months), 5-year survival rates were as follows: locoregional recurrence-free survival, 93.0%; recurrence-free survival, 89.6%; overall survival, 94.7%. The recurrence patterns were local in nine patients (32.1%), regional in five patients (17.8%), distant in 10 patients (35.7%), local and distant in one patient (3.6%), regional and distant in two patients (7.2%), and locoregional and distant in one patient (3.6%). In multivariable analysis, negative human papillomavirus (HPV) status (HR 7.314; p<0.001) and deep cervical stromal invasion (HR 5.110; p=0.003) were associated with poor locoregional recurrence-free survival. Patients were stratified based on the number of risk factors and a statistically significant difference in locoregional recurrence-free survival was observed: 5-year survival rates of 99.0%, 84.2%, and 50.0% for patients with 0, 1, and 2 risk factors (0 vs 1, p=0.001; 1 vs 2, p=0.011).

Conclusion Surgery alone for low-risk early-stage cervical adenocarcinoma was associated with favorable outcomes over a long follow-up period. Patients with the highest risk of recurrence were those with a negative HPV status and deep cervical stromal invasion. Additional management following surgery may be considered in patients with these risk factors.

  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Pathology

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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