Minimally Invasive surgery leads to worse survival of cervical cancer patients: study

CHICAGO, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Minimally invasive hysterectomy, a popular procedure for early-stage cervical cancer, turns out to result in worse overall survival for cancer patients than traditional open surgery, a study from Northwestern Medicine and other institutions has shown.

This study retrospectively looked at patients in the National Cancer Database from 2010 to 2013. The researchers identified 2,461 patients with stage IA2 or IB1 cervical cancer who were treated with a radical hysterectomy.

About half of these women had open surgery and half had minimally invasive surgery. They also used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to look at trends in survival prior to and after the adoption of the minimally invasive approach to radical hysterectomy.

Among women undergoing minimally invasive surgery, the risk of death within four years was 9.1 percent as compared to 5.3 percent in the open surgery group, a 3.8 percent difference. This equates to patients being about 1.65 times more likely to die over this time frame than if they received open surgery.

“The results of these studies raise concerns about the safety of minimally invasive radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer,” said Edward Tanner, associate professor and chief of gynecologic oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine physician.

“Clearly, we need more research on this issue,” Tanner said. “It’s possible that some patients with cervical cancer can still undergo minimally invasive surgery safely. Until that time, surgeons offering a minimally invasive approach need to counsel patients about the risks, so they can make an informed decision about their care.”

It is estimated that around 13,240 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the United States in 2018.

The study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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