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Small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix: a multi-institutional experience
  1. Junyun Li1,
  2. Yi Ouyang1,
  3. Yalan Tao1,
  4. Ligen Wang2,
  5. Mingyi Li2,
  6. Lei Gao3 and
  7. Xinping Cao1
  1. 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  2. 2Cancer Center of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  3. 3Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Xinping Cao, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China; caoxp{at}


Objective Small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix is associated with a poor prognosis with a median overall survival that is quite low. The aim of this study was to determine the clinico-pathologic characteristics that have an impact on survival in patients with small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.

Methods A total of 93 patients were involved in this retrospective study. Inclusion criteria were patients diagnosed with histopathologically confirmed small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix and then later treated at three participating centers, between June 2001 and March 2015. Those without complete available follow-up records were excluded. The endpoints of this study were disease-free survival and overall survival. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression methods were used for analyses.

Results There were statistical differences in overall survival between patients in early and in advanced stages by using the 2009 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) clinical stage. There were 75 patients with FIGO stage I to IIA (56 patients stage I, 17 patients stage IIA, and two patients stage IB or IIA because of uncertainty as to whether the fornix was involved); and 18 patients with FIGO stage IIB and above (10 patients IIB stage, five patients stage III, and three patients stage IV). Among the 76 patients who had surgery, 73 (96%) had a radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection and three (4%) patients had a simple hysterectomy without lymph node dissection. For early-stage patients, the 5 year disease-free survival rate was 52.7% compared with 32.4% in the advanced stage group (p=0.022). The disease-free survival for the early-stage group was 64.4% compared with 36.7% in the advanced-stage group (p=0.047). For factors affecting overall survival, age at diagnosis, tumor homology, tumor size, depth of stromal invasion, lymph node involvement, and treatment modality failed to reach significance in both univariate and multivariate analysis.

Conclusion FIGO stage was a prognostic factor impacting survival—both overall survival and disease-free survival. Age at diagnosis, tumor histology (pure or mixed), tumor size, depth of stromal invasion, lymph node involvement, and treatment modality did not have an impact on overall survival.

  • small cell carcinoma
  • uterine cervix
  • treatment
  • prognostic factor
  • survival

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  • Contributors JL, YO and XPC designed and supervised the study. YO, YT, LW, LG and ML collected data. JL and XC analyzed the data and drafted the manuscript. JL and XC reviewed and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • 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.