The impact of close surgical margins after radical hysterectomy for early-stage cervical cancer

Georgia A. McCann, Susanne K. Taege, Christina E. Boutsicaris, Gary S. Phillips, Eric L. Eisenhauer, Jeffrey M. Fowler, David M. O'Malley, Larry J. Copeland, David E. Cohn, Ritu Salani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: While it is known that positive surgical margins increase the risk of cervical cancer recurrence, little is known about the effect of close surgical margins (CSM). Therefore, we set out to determine the impact of margin status on recurrence and survival in patients with early-stage cervical cancer. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of patients undergoing radical hysterectomy from 2000 to 2010 with Stage IA2-IIA cervical cancer. CSM were defined as ≤ 5 mm; association with other clinicopathologic factors as well as recurrence and survival was evaluated. Results: Of the 119 patients, 75 (63%) with CSM had a recurrence rate of 24% compared to 9% without CSM. Though not independently associated with recurrence, CSM were significantly associated with positive lymph nodes (44% vs. 18%), positive parametria (33.3% vs. 2.3%), larger tumors (3.5 vs. 2.5 cm), greater depth of stromal invasion (DOI) (84% vs. 33%), and lymphovascular space invasion (LVSI) (61.3% vs. 34.1%). We failed to find an association between adjuvant therapy and recurrence in those with CSM. Exploratory analysis revealed that a surgical margin of ≤ 2 mm was significantly associated with an increased risk of overall recurrence (36% vs. 9%, p = 0.009) as well as loco-regional recurrence (22% vs. 4%, p = 0.0034). Conclusions: Surgical margins of ≤ 5 mm on radical hysterectomy specimens are often associated with other high or intermediate risk factors for recurrence. While not a proven independent risk factor, the distance to surgical margin may warrant further investigation as an intermediate risk factor along with tumor size, DOI and LVSI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Radical hysterectomy
  • Recurrence risk
  • Surgical margins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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