The prognostic value of the number of positive lymph nodes and the lymph node ratio in early-stage cervical cancer

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Introduction: To establish the impact of the number of lymph node metastases (nLNM) and the lymph node ratio (LNR) on survival in patients with early-stage cervical cancer after surgery. Material and methods: In this nationwide historical cohort study, all women diagnosed between 1995 and 2020 with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 2009 stage IA2–IIA1 cervical cancer and nodal metastases after radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy from the Netherlands Cancer Registry were selected. Optimal cut-offs for prognostic stratification by nLNM and LNR were calculated to categorize patients into low-risk or high-risk groups. Kaplan–Meier overall survival analysis and flexible parametric relative survival analysis were used to determine the impact of nLNM and LNR on survival. Missing data were imputed. Results: The optimal cut-off point was ≥4 for nLNM and ≥0.177 for LNR. Of the 593 women included, 500 and 501 (both 84%) were categorized into the low-risk and 93 and 92 (both 16%) into the high-risk groups for nLNM and LNR, respectively. Both high-risk groups had a worse 5-year overall survival (p < 0.001) compared with the low-risk groups. Being classified into the high-risk groups is an independent risk factor for relative survival, with excess hazard ratios of 2.4 (95% confidence interval 1.6–3.5) for nLNM and 2.5 (95% confidence interval 1.7–3.8) for LNR. Conclusions: Presenting a patient's nodal status postoperatively by the number of positive nodes, or by the nodal ratio, can support further risk stratification regarding survival in the case of node-positive early-stage cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-557
Number of pages8
JournalActa obstetricia et gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number5
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • lymph node metastasis
  • lymph node ratio
  • radical surgery
  • survival
  • uterine cervical cancer

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