The standard treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer is chemo-radiotherapy. The presence of the residual disease after treatment is directly related to the relapse risk and to poor survival. There is a lack of consensus on the role of a subsequent surgery due to morbidity concerns. Oncological and peri-operative outcomes of completion surgery for cervical cancer were reviewed by retrospective descriptive analysis of the eligible cases between March 2012 and March 2016. Fifteen women were identified. Ten (66.7%) had a residual tumour on their post-treatment MRI. Surgical histology indicated a residual cancer in 26.7%. There were three distant recurrences. Bowel and urinary complications were most commonly reported. Offering surgery to women with a residual cervical tumour found on MRI after chemo-radiation is beneficial, despite clear risks from the dual-modality treatment. A less radical surgery is preferable. An MRI has a reasonable negative predictive value, but this study has highlighted the need to further examine the role of MRI in predicting the residual disease and recurrence.Impact statementWhat is already known on this subject? The standard treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer is chemo-radiotherapy. The presence of residual disease after treatment is directly related to the relapse risk and poor survival. There is a lack of consensus on the role of a subsequent surgery due to morbidity concerns. The current evidence in the UK is limited, but across the world it appears that surgery can be beneficial for patients with incomplete chemo-radiotherapy, for certain histological subtypes of cervical cancer or for bulky residual disease. What do the results of this study add? The mode of surgery is more debateable, and this study concludes that both the laparoscopic and open surgeries are acceptable, but that radical surgery should be avoided as this contributes to a significant post-operative morbidity. This study explores the role of MRI imaging in predicting the residual disease and cervical cancer recurrence, concluding that a negative MRI post-chemoradiotherapy has a good negative predictive value for squamous cell cervical cancer, but otherwise can be unreliable. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? An additional explored role of the MRI in predicting a recurrence in a larger cohort will be required, and it is likely that an additional assessment with PET-CT scanning will improve specificity.
- completion surgery
- Locally advanced cervical cancer
- MRI imaging
- residual disease