Clear cell carcinoma of the cervix: a multi-institutional review in the post-DES era

Patients with low risk early stage CCCC may be managed with radical surgery alone

Cervix Normal Squamocolumnar Junction
This 2008 study results suggest that patients with low risk early stage CCCC may be managed with radical surgery alone, without the need for adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation.
Cervix: Normal Squamocolumnar Junction image by Ed Uthman.

2008 Study Abstract

Objective
To conduct an outcome analysis of patients with cervical clear cell carcinoma (CCCC) in the post-DES era.

Methods
A retrospective review was conducted at 3 major gynecologic cancer centers of all primary CCCC between 1982 and 2004.

Results
CCCC was confirmed in 34 patients. Median age was 53 years. DES exposure was confirmed in 2 (6%) patients. A history of smoking was elicited in 22%, and of abnormal Pap smear 18% patients. Primary surgical resection was performed in all stage I or IIA patients (n=26); they displayed superior 3-year overall survival (OS) compared to advanced stage (n=8) patients (91% vs. 22%, p<0.001). Pelvic lymph node involvement was noted in 25%; all patients with positive para-aortic nodes (20% of patients sampled) had positive pelvic nodes. All node positive patients were treated with adjuvant radiation, but nevertheless displayed reduced progression free (31% vs 92%, p<0.001) and overall survival (80% vs. 100%, p=0.02). Adjuvant radiotherapy did not appear to impact OS in patients with negative lymph nodes.

Discussion
This series provides insight into the management of early stage CCCC in the post-DES era. Although these patients may be at slightly higher risk of nodal spread, clear cell histology by itself does not appear to portend a worse prognosis than squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix in the absence of traditional risk factors. Our data suggest that patients with low risk early stage CCCC may be managed with radical surgery alone, without the need for adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation.

Sources and more information
  • Clear cell carcinoma of the cervix: A multi-institutional review in the post-DES era, M. Bijoy Thomas, Jason D. Wright, Aliza L. Leiser, Dennis S. Chi, David G. Mutch, Karl C. Podratz, and Sean C. Dowdya,, Gynecol Oncol. 10.1016/j.ygyno.2008.02.007, NCBI PMC3667392, 2008 Apr 3.
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