Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 300, Issue 1, pp 161–168 | Cite as

Pelvic exenteration as ultimate ratio for gynecologic cancers: single-center analyses of 37 cases

  • N. de GregorioEmail author
  • A. de Gregorio
  • F. Ebner
  • T. W. P. Friedl
  • J. Huober
  • R. Hefty
  • M. Wittau
  • W. Janni
  • P. Widschwendter
Gynecologic Oncology



Pelvic exenterations are a last resort procedure for advanced gynecologic malignancies with elevated risks in terms of patients’ morbidity.


This single-center analysis reports surgical details, outcome and survival of all patients treated with exenteration for non-ovarian gynecologic malignancies at our university hospital during a 13-year time period. We collected data regarding patients and tumor characteristics, surgical procedures, peri- and postoperative management, transfusions, complications, and analyzed the impact on survival outcomes.


We identified 37 patients between 2005 and 2013 with primary or relapsed cervical cancer (59.5%), vulvar cancer (24.3%) or endometrial cancer (16.2%). Median age was 60 years and most patients (73%) had squamous cell carcinomas. Median progression-free survival was 26.2 months and median overall survival was 49.9 months. The 5-year survival rates were 34.4% for progression-free survival and 46.4% for overall survival. There were no significant differences in progression-free survival and overall survival with regard to disease entity. Patients with tumor at the resection margins (R1) had a nearly significantly worse progression-free survival (median: 28.5 vs. 7.3 months, HR 2.59, 95% CI 0.98–6.88, p = 0.056) and a significantly worse overall survival (median: not reached vs. 10.9 months, HR 4.04, 95% CI 1.40–11.64, p = 0.010) compared to patients with complete tumor resection (R0). In addition, patients without lymphovascular space invasion had a significantly better progression-free survival (p = 0.017) and overall survival (p = 0.034) then patients with lymphovascular space invasion. We observed complications in 14 patients (37.8%), 10 of those were classified as Clavien–Dindo 3 or 4. There was a trend to worse progression-free survival in patients that suffered complications (p = 0.052). Median total amount of transfused blood products was 4 (range 0–20).


Pelvic exenteration is a procedure that provides substantial progression-free survival and overall survival improvement and—in selected patients—can even achieve cure in otherwise hopeless clinical situations. Patients need to be offered earnest counseling for sufficient informed consent with realistic expectations what to expect.


Pelvic exenteration Advanced gynecologic malignancy Cervical cancer Endometrial cancer Vulvar cancer 


Author contributions

NdeG: conceptualization and writing original draft. AdeG: resources, review and editing. FEbner: review and editing. TWPF: data curation and formal analysis. JH: supporting and review. RH and MW: resources and review. WJ: supervision and review. PW: conceptualization, resources, review and editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We have no potential conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was approved by local ethics committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyAmper Hospital DachauDachauGermany
  3. 3.Department of UrologyKlinikum HeidenheimHeidenheim an der BrenzGermany
  4. 4.Department of General SurgeryUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

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