New Technique May Improve Early Cervical Cancer Treatment

Modified hysterectomy method could boost survival, German study shows

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MONDAY, June 1, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- A new approach to performing radical hysterectomy in early-stage cervical cancer patients reduces the risk of complications, death and local tumor recurrence, a German study shows.

The technique, called total mesometrial resection (TMMR), is a modified version of traditional radical hysterectomy. But this new method employs more accurate, anatomically based resection of the cancer to prevent damage to the pelvic autonomous nervous system and to minimize surgery-related trauma, the University of Leipzig researchers report.

In their study, Dr. Michael Hockel and his colleagues assessed the effectiveness of TMMR without radiotherapy in 212 early-stage cervical cancer patients and found a recurrence-free survival rate of 94 percent and a five-year survival rate of 96 percent. The overall cancer recurrence rate was 5 percent, compared to the 28 percent rate seen in patients who undergo traditional radical hysterectomy.

The study, published online June 1 in The Lancet Oncology, also found that 63 percent of patients had no treatment-related complications, 35 percent had grade 1 complications, and 9 percent had grade 2 complications. There were no grade 3 or 4 complications reported.

The researchers wrote that "TMMR without adjuvant radiation has the potential to improve survival by 15 to 20 percent," and called for further evaluation of TMMR in multi-center controlled trials.

More information

The National Women's Health Information Center has more about cervical cancer.

SOURCE: The Lancet Oncology, news release, May 31, 2009

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