Reproductive and oncologic outcomes after fertility-sparing surgery for early stage cervical cancer: a systematic review

Vaginal radical trachelectomy has the highest clinical pregnancy rate and minimally invasive approaches to fertility-sparing surgery have equivalent oncologic outcomes compared to an abdominal approach.

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Volume 113, Issue 4, Pages 685–703


Camran Nezhat, M.D., Robert A. Roman, M.D., Anupama Rambhatla, M.D., Farr Nezhat, M.D.


This review sought to evaluate the current literature on reproductive and oncologic outcomes after fertility-sparing surgery for early stage cervical cancer (stage IA1–IB1) including cold-knife conization/simple trachelectomy, vaginal radical trachelectomy, abdominal radical trachelectomy, and laparoscopic radical trachelectomy with or without robotic assistance. A systematic review using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA) checklist to evaluate the current literature on fertility-sparing surgery for early stage cervical cancer and its subsequent clinical pregnancy rate, reproductive outcomes, and cancer recurrence was performed. Sixty-five studies were included encompassing 3,044 patients who underwent fertility-sparing surgery, including 1,047 pregnancies with reported reproductive outcomes. The mean clinical pregnancy rate of patients trying to conceive was 55.4%, with the highest clinical pregnancy rate after vaginal radical trachelectomy (67.5%). The mean live-birth rate was 67.9% in our study. Twenty percent of pregnancies after fertility-sparing surgery required assisted reproductive technology. The mean cancer recurrence rate was 3.2%, and the cancer death rate was 0.6% after a median follow-up period of 39.7 months with no statistically significant difference across surgical approaches. Fertility-sparing surgery is a reasonable alternative to traditional radical hysterectomy for early-stage cervical cancer in women desiring fertility preservation. Vaginal radical trachelectomy had the highest clinical pregnancy rate, and minimally invasive approaches to fertility-sparing surgery had equivalent oncologic outcomes compared with an abdominal approach. The results of our study allow for appropriate patient counseling preoperatively and highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to achieve the best outcomes for each patient.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.


Go to the profile of Joyce Dillon Reinecke
about 1 year ago

I thought this was such a comprehensive overview. Really important information to share out to the cervical cancer community. Thank you, Joyce Reinecke, Alliance for Fertility Preservation

Go to the profile of Chin-Jui WU
about 1 year ago

My article was cited No. 50 in the review. It's my honor to contribute my data to the great comprehensive review. But I found my follow-up interval was mistaken for "months", which is "years" originally. I wish there'll be a correction. Thank you!