The role of the French-Italian glossary of complications in the outcome evaluation of cervical cancer treatment: An Italian multicentric study

Paolo Zola, A. Magistris, F. Landoni, E. Sartori, T. Maggino, A. Gadducci, L. Fuso, A. Peroglio Carus, A. Ferrero, M. E. Jacomuzzi

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The optimal treatment for cervical cancer is still a controversial matter: in the last two decades a lot of different modalities combining surgery, radiotherapy (RT) and chemotherapy (CHT) have been suggested and analysed in clinical trials. Nevertheless, analysis of treatment in cancer patients should be directed not only to survival, but also to the cost of complications and quality of life. In June 1988, a French-Italian co-operative group set up a glossary in which the complications of the treatment of cervical cancer are described and ranked. Nowadays, this is the only international system based upon an accurate description of symptoms and signs of complications following multidisciplinary treatment. The glossary was based on our previous experience in treating patients by surgery alone, RT or their combinations. Recently multimodality treatment includes also CHT. The aim of the present study was to verify whether the glossary is still a useful clinical instrument in outcome evaluation of cervical cancer treatment. Materials and methods: The analysis has been done on a retrospective consecutive series of 579 patients affected by cervical cancer, treated in five Italian institutions. A minimum of 12 months follow up was required. All medical records of the patients enrolled, were examined by two independent reviewers in order to classify the complications according to the glossary. Results: Out of 579 patients 319 (55.1%) were free of complications and 260 (44.9%) experienced at least one complication. We found 436 complications. The distribution by Grade was: G1 58.9%, G2 27.5%, G3 13.5%. We had no fatal complication (G4). The glossary included all observed complications, except for pulmonary fibrosis. Conclusion: The glossary is still a useful instrument in evaluating the outcome of cervical cancer treatment, whatever the therapy, and should be considered in quality of life assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-321
Number of pages5
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


  • Cervical cancer
  • Complication
  • Glossary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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