From January 1987 to April 1992, 34 patients had resection of bulky positive lymph nodes, detected either at the time of radical hysterectomy (n = 23) or by computed tomographic (CT) scan of the pelvis and abdomen prior to radiation therapy for more advanced cervical cancer (n = 11). Following nodal resection, 33 patients received pelvic external beam radiation, 28 received pelvic and para-aortic radiation, and 23 received four cycles of cisplatin chemotherapy. The median number of resected positive nodes was 4, with a range of 1–44. All macroscopic nodal metastases could be resected in each patient and morbidity was acceptably low. Positive nodes were confined to the pelvis in 17 patients, involved the common iliac group in nine patients, and involved the para-aortic area in eight patients. With a mean follow-up of 36 months, 23 patients (67.6%) were alive, of whom 20 were free of disease. For patients having a radical hysterectomy, actuarial 5-year survival was 80% for patients with disease involving pelvic and common iliac lymph nodes, and 48% for those with positive para-aortic nodes. Survival for patients with completely resected bulky pelvic and common iliac nodes was comparable to that for patients with micrometastases. This study suggests that every effort should be made to identify patients with cervical cancer who have bulky positive lymph node metastases, and to remove these nodes surgically prior to radiation therapy.
- bulky lymph node metastases
- cervical cancer.
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