Tumor Necrotic Debris and High Nuclear Grade: Newly Identified High-risk Factors for Early-stage Endocervical Adenocarcinoma

Steven B. Holloway, Glorimar R. Colon, Wenxin Zheng, Jayanthi S. Lea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Invasive pattern of endocervical adenocarcinomas (EACs) is known to influence lymph node metastasis and cancer recurrence. In this study we describe the prognostic significance of necrotic tumor debris (NTD) and tumor nuclear grade on recurrence risk stratification of early-stage cervical adenocarcinoma. Methods: Patients who underwent surgery from 2007 to 2018 for International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage IA1-IB2 EAC, for whom pathology was available for review were included in this study. Clinico-pathologic variables and clinical recurrence risk stratification (low, intermediate, or high risk) were correlated to intraluminal NTD and tumor nuclear grade (N3). Results: Among 50 patients meeting inclusion criteria, all were managed surgically and clinically risk stratified as low (n=33), intermediate (n=13), and high risk (n=4). Twenty-three patients (46%) were NTD-N3 negative and 27 (54%) were NTD-N3 positive. NTD-N3 was significantly associated with higher stage, tumor grade, larger tumor size, positive lymphovascular space invasion, and recurrence of disease (P=0.025). Patients with stage IB1 EAC who were stratified as intermediate or high-risk for recurrence were positive for NTD-N3. Lack of NTD-N3 had 100% negative predictive value for disease recurrence. Conclusions: NTD-N3, a novel pathologic finding, may be used to further stratify overall recurrence risk, and may play a role in individualization of patient care in early-stage EAC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-168
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer nuclear grade
  • cervical cancer
  • endocervical adenocarcinoma
  • necrotic tumor debris
  • pattern classification
  • risk stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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