BACKGROUND: Minimally invasive surgery was adopted as an alternative to laparotomy (open surgery) for radical hysterectomy in patients with early-stage cervical cancer before high-quality evidence regarding its effect on survival was available. We sought to determine the effect of minimally invasive surgery on all-cause mortality among women undergoing radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer. METHODS: We performed a cohort study involving women who underwent radical hysterectomy for stage IA2 or IB1 cervical cancer during the 2010-2013 period at Commission on Cancer-accredited hospitals in the United States. The study used inverse probability of treatment propensity-score weighting. We also conducted an interrupted time-series analysis involving women who underwent radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer during the 2000-2010 period, using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program database. RESULTS: In the primary analysis, 1225 of 2461 women (49.8%) underwent minimally invasive surgery. Women treated with minimally invasive surgery were more often white, privately insured, and from ZIP Codes with higher socioeconomic status, had smaller, lower-grade tumors, and were more likely to have received a diagnosis later in the study period than women who underwent open surgery. Over a median follow-up of 45 months, the 4-year mortality was 9.1% among women who underwent minimally invasive surgery and 5.3% among those who underwent open surgery (hazard ratio, 1.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.22 to 2.22; P = 0.002 by the log-rank test). Before the adoption of minimally invasive radical hysterectomy (i.e., in the 2000-2006 period), the 4-year relative survival rate among women who underwent radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer remained stable (annual percentage change, 0.3%; 95% CI, -0.1 to 0.6). The adoption of minimally invasive surgery coincided with a decline in the 4-year relative survival rate of 0.8% (95% CI, 0.3 to 1.4) per year after 2006 (P = 0.01 for change of trend). CONCLUSIONS; In an epidemiologic study, minimally invasive radical hysterectomy was associated with shorter overall survival than open surgery among women with stage IA2 or IB1 cervical carcinoma.
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