Changes to the surgical methods used to treat early stage cervical cancer could increase survival rates by up to 20 percent, according to new research published in The Lancet.
German researchers have found a more targeted approach which involves only removing tissue in the areas where tumor is most likely to spread, is more effective at treating cervical cancer than radical hysterectomy, which is the traditional tttreatment.
By removing a more defined, section which includes the fallopian tubes, uterus, and certain parts of the vagina, radiotherapy can also be avoided.
The technique is called mesometrial resection (TMMR), and the study practised the method on 212 patients. In high risk patients the recurrence rate was only 5 percent compared to 28 percent for patients who had received traditional surgery.
The surgery also avoids a lot of potential nerve damage which is a problem experienced by a large number of women who undergo hysterectomy.
Cancer UK agree the technique shows potential and are hoping larger trials will start so the treatment can be offered to more patients.
The news comes not long after results showing the removal of ovaries during hysterectomy had no positive effect on survival rates in women(1).
1.Parker WH, Broder MS, Chang E et al. Ovarian conservation at the time of hysterectomy and long-term health outcomes in the Nurses’ Health Study. Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009;113:1027-37.