The effect of volume of disease in patients with carcinoma of the uterine cervix

Jeffrey J. Kovalic, Carlos A. Perez, Perry W. Grigsby, Mary Ann Lockett

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80 Scopus citations


This is a retrospective study of 635 consecutively treated patients with FIGO Stage IIB or IIIB carcinoma of the uterine cervix. All patients were treated definitively with radiation therapy. The effect of volume of disease on outcome was studied. The 5-, 10-, and 15-year disease-free survivals (DFS) for the 346 Stage IIB patients were 64%, 61%, and 58%, respectively. Corresponding DFS for the 289 Stage IIIB patients were 40%, 38%, and 34%, respectively. The presence of bilateral parametrial invasion did not alter the 10-year DFS in Stage IIB patients (61% vs 64%, p = 0.60) but did decrease it in Stage IIIB patients (34% vs 50%, p = 0.006). Patients with both Stage IIB and IIIB cancers and central bulky disease (≥5 cm in diameter) had decreased DFS when compared to those without central bulky disease. Stage IIB patients with the lateral half of the parametrium involved had a decreased 10-year DFS in comparison with medial half involvement (52% vs 68%, p = 0.004). The total pelvic failure rate was 23% for Stage IIB and 41% for Stage IIIB patients. Central bulkiness increased the pelvic failure rate by about 11% for all patients. Bilateral parametrial disease increased the pelvic failure rate in Stage IIIB patients but not in patients with Stage IIB disease. The total pelvic failure rate for Stage IIB patients was greater in those whose disease extended into the lateral parametrium. Multivariate analysis was done using stage, lateral pelvic wall dose, parametrial disease, central bulkiness, age, and total dose to point A as variables. With local control as the endpoint, only stage (IIB vs IIIB) was significant (p = 0.008). Using DFS as the endpoint, stage (p = 0.0001) and central bulkiness of tumor (p = 0.026) were significant. Complications were not increased in patients with bulky or bilateral disease. We conclude that there is justification for subdividing FIGO Stage IIIB patients into those with unilateral or bilateral disease; however, these data do not support such a division for FIGO Stage IIB patients. These latter patients would be better analyzed with reference to medial versus lateral parametrial extension because of the difference in pelvic control and survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-910
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1991


  • Prognostic variables
  • Radiation therapy
  • Uterine cervical cancer


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