Stage IA2 cervical carcinoma: how much treatment is enough?

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Colleges, School and Institutes


OBJECTIVE: The current guidance for the management of women with stage IA2 cervical carcinoma is that whatever the primary surgical intervention, pelvic lymphadenectomy should be included. The role of lymphadenectomy in the management of cervical carcinoma remains somewhat confused, as the procedure has not been proven to be therapeutic, although it is claimed that the information gained is valuable in determining the need for adjuvant therapy. For lymphadenectomy to have clinical utility in the care of women with stage IA2 cervical carcinoma, a sufficiently high incidence of node positivity would be required to justify the morbidity of the procedure for the whole group. The objective of this paper was to establish the incidence of pelvic lymph node positivity in stage IA2 cervical carcinoma. METHODS: A PubMed search using the words "stage IA2 cervical carcinoma," "microinvasive cervical carcinoma," "stage IA cervical carcinoma," "stage I cervical carcinoma," and "lymphadenectomy in cervical carcinoma" was performed; the articles were divided into those that adhered to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) definition of a stage IA2 tumor and those that did not. Sentinel node studies were not included, as this procedure does not form part of the FIGO guidelines. RESULTS: Studies adhering to the FIGO definition showed a 0.5% incidence of lymph node metastases in stage IA2 cervical carcinomas, which is not as high as was previously believed (7.3%). CONCLUSIONS: The very low rate of positive lymph nodes in correctly staged IA2 cases cannot justify the inclusion of lymphadenectomy as part of standardized care for these patients.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1620-4
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009