Significance of Para-Aortic Lymph Node Evaluation in Patients With FIGO IIIC1 Cervical Cancer

Objective: This study investigated the effect of para-aortic lymph node sampling or dissection in recently revised International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics IIIC1p cervical cancer treated with primary surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy with concurrent chemotherapy.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of 343 patients with early-stage cervical cancer and pathologically proven pelvic lymph node metastasis following curative surgery from 2001 to 2014. No patient had imaging evidence of para-aortic lymph node involvement, and all patients received adjuvant concurrent chemotherapy with or without concurrent chemotherapy. We investigated the significance of para-aortic lymph node sampling or dissection on disease-free survival and overall survival.

Results: After median follow-up of 58.3 months, 5-year disease-free survival and overall survival in all patients were 69.9 and 80.2%, respectively. Disease-free survival and overall survival did not differ between the para-aortic lymph node dissection group and the No para-aortic lymph node dissection group (P = 0.700 and P = 0.605). However, patients with para-aortic lymph node-positive disease had poorer disease-free survival and overall survival compared with those with para-aortic lymph node-negative disease (P < 0.001 and P < 0.001).

Conclusions: This study found no survival benefit of para-aortic lymph node evaluation among patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics IIIC1p cervical cancer who were clinically para-aortic lymph node-negative. Although para-aortic lymph node metastasis is a poor prognosticator, the benefit of para-aortic lymph node dissection in terms of survival needs further investigation.

Keywords: lymph node involvement; radiation therapy; uterine cervical neoplasm.