Which role for pre-treatment laparoscopic staging?

Anna Fagotti, Francesco Fanfani, Romina Longo, Francesco Legge, Alessandra Mari, Maria L. Gagliardi, Giovanni Scambia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate in cervical cancer patients the impact of pre-treatment laparoscopic staging on treatment plan and disease free survival. Methods: A review of the present literature has been performed and data have been compared to results obtained in a large series of patients not surgically staged. Results: Among 134 abstracts resulting from Medline research, 13 were deemed potentially relevant to the study questions. The presence of intraperitoneal diffusion of disease can be recognized in locally advanced cervical cancer patients (LACC) in a percentage ranging between 1.9% and 29%. The rate of aortic positive nodes in clinically negative LACC patients cases has been reported between 11% and 25%, by laparoscopy. In our Division, 152 LACC patients have been treated between October 1997 and February 2007. None of the patients has been submitted to pre-treatment laparoscopic staging, whereas in all cases a pre-operative MRI has been performed. With a median follow-up 28.0 months (range 3-126 months), 31 recurrences have been observed. The 5-year DFS has been 83% and OS 90%. Although only a retrospective analysis can be carried out, such result well compares to cases surgically staged. Conclusions: Pre-treatment surgical staging can identify positive nodes in LACC patients considered clinically negative, and recognize intraperitoneal disease, thus making the physician tailor the treatment on the bases of histopathological result. Moreover, it offers the potential advantage of debulking of macroscopically positive nodes, and to transpose the ovary outside the radiation. However, the positive impact on DFS has still to be demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Cervical cancer
  • Laparoscopy
  • Staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology


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