Objective (1) To determine the accuracy of a standard clinical and radiological assessment of resectability in patients with previously irradiated recurrent cervical cancer (PIRCC), and (2) to report the outcome and prognostic factors in this high-risk population treated with an exenterative procedure.
Methods Forty-eight patients with centrally located (n=20, 41.7%) or lateralized (n=28, 58.3%) PIRCC treated with exenterative procedures were analyzed. All patients underwent standard assessment of resectability with pelvic exam and radiological studies. Patients with centrally located tumors were considered as resectable and lateralized tumors were deemed unresectable.
Results Complete surgical resection with negative margins (R0) was achieved in 28.6% of the patients with lateral recurrences and in 65.0% of the patients with central recurrences (p<0.019). After a median follow-up of 114.6 months (3.0¿244.9 months), the 10-year local control rate for the whole group was 36.3%, 43.1% in the central PIRCC group and 31.5% in the lateral PIRCC group, respectively (p=0.290). Multivariate analysis showed that improved local control was significantly associated with the presence of negative margins (p=0.004). The 10-year distant failure rate was 69%, 56.6% in the central PIRCC group and 83.2% in the lateral PIRCC group (p=0.178), respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that the development of distant metastases was significantly correlated with the absence of local control (p=0.01). The 10-year disease-specific survival (DSS) for central and lateral PIRCC was 27.2% and 14.9%, respectively (p=0.239). Multivariate analysis showed that negative margins (p=0.001), local control (p=0.001) and distant control (p=0.006) were all significantly associated with improved DSS. Location of PIRCC (central vs. lateral) was irrelevant for DSS in completely resected (R0) patients. Overall morbidity rate was 65.0% and 73.3% for central and lateral PIRCC patients, respectively (p=0.528).
Conclusion About one-third of the patients with lateral PIRCC classified as unresectable with non-surgical means may ultimately undergo complete (R0) resections and about one-third of the patients with centrally located PIRCC and judged as resectable will undergo non-curative (R1) resections. A curative (R0) resection significantly impacts local control rates, distant metastases-free rates and DSS.