BACKGROUND: Despite significant advances in the screening, detection, and treatment of preinvasive cervical lesions, invasive cervical cancer is the fifth most common cancer in European women. There are large disparities in Europe and worldwide in the incidence, management, and mortality of cervical cancer.
OBJECTIVE: The European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO), the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO), and the European Society of Pathology (ESP) jointly develop clinically relevant and evidence-based guidelines in order to improve the quality of care for women with cervical cancer across Europe and worldwide.
METHODS: The ESGO/ESTRO/ESP nominated an international multidisciplinary development group consisting of practicing clinicians and researchers who have demonstrated leadership and expertise in the care and research of cervical cancer (23 experts across Europe). To ensure that the guidelines are evidence based, the current literature identified from a systematic search was reviewed and critically appraised. In the absence of any clear scientific evidence, judgment was based on the professional experience and consensus of the development group. The guidelines are thus based on the best available evidence and expert agreement. Prior to publication, the guidelines were reviewed by 159 international reviewers, selected through ESGO/ESTRO/ESP and including patient representatives.
RESULTS: The guidelines cover comprehensively staging, management, and follow-up for patients with cervical cancer. Management includes fertility sparing treatment; stage T1a, T1b1/T2a1, clinically occult cervical cancer diagnosed after simple hysterectomy; early and locally advanced cervical cancer; primary distant metastatic disease; cervical cancer in pregnancy; and recurrent disease. Principles of radiotherapy and pathological evaluation are defined.