Objective: To examine the association between surgical volume and survival of women with early-stage cervical cancer who underwent radical hysterectomy. Methods: This is a nationwide multicenter retrospective study examining consecutive women with clinical stage IB1-IIB cervical cancer who underwent radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy from 2004 to 2008 (N=5,964). The surgical volume per site over the 5-year period was defined as low-volume (fewer than 32 surgeries, 46 [39.7%] institutions, n=649 [10.9%]), mid-volume (32-104 surgeries, 60 [51.7%] institutions, n=3,662 [61.4%]), and high-volume (105 surgeries or more, 10 [8.6%] institutions, n=1,653 [27.7%]). Surgical volume-specific survival was examined with multivariable analysis and propensity score matching. Results: The median number of surgeries per site was 44 (interquartile range, 17-65). The 5-year disease-free survival rates among stage IB1-IIB disease were 77.2%, 79.9%, and 84.5% for low-, mid-, and high-volume groups, respectively. On multivariable analysis, women in high-volume centers had a decreased risk of recurrence (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 0.69, 95% CI 0.58-0.82, P<.001) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.59-0.90, P=.003) compared with those in mid-volume centers. Specifically, women in high-volume centers had a decreased risk of local recurrence (adjusted HR 0.62, 95% CI 0.49-0.78, P<.001) but not distant recurrence (adjusted HR 0.85, 95% CI 0.67-1.06, P=.142) compared with those in mid-volume centers. Among 1,700 women with clinical stage IB1 disease treated with surgery alone, surgery at high-volume centers was associated with a decreased risk of recurrence (adjusted HR 0.45, 95% CI 0.25-0.79, P=.006) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 0.29, 95% CI 0.11-0.76, P=.013) compared with surgery at mid-volume centers on multivariable analysis. After propensity score matching, surgery at high-volume centers remained an independent prognostic factor for decreased recurrence (adjusted HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.57-0.84, P<.001) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.59-0.95, P=.016) compared with surgery at mid- and low-volume centers on multivariable analysis. Conclusion: Hospital volume for radical hysterectomy may be a prognostic factor for early-stage cervical cancer. Surgery at high-volume centers is associated with decreased local recurrence risk and improved survival.
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