Cervical cancer is a major health problem for Chinese women. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 new cervical cancer cases occur in China every year, which accounts for about 20 percent of global new cases. Surgery and radiotherapy are two major radical treatment methods for IB-IIB cervical cancer. Unlike the United States and some other countries, most of operable women with IB-IIB cervical cancer received radical surgery other than radiotherapy in China. Patients with recurrence risk factors (lymph node metastasis, deep stromal invasion, positive lymphatic vascular space, et al. ) also received adjuvant therapy after surgery, such as radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy that are recommended in the NCCN guidelines. However, in China a substantial part of patients especially those admitted to tertiary hospitals received several courses of chemotherapy instead of radiotherapy if they had recurrence risk factors .
In our previous study, we found that patients with intermediate risk factors (deep stromal invasion, positive lymphatic vascular space, bulky tumor>4cm) had better disease-free survival and recurrence-free survival when they received chemotherapy compared with radiotherapy. The objective in this study is to investigate whether the advantage of postoperative chemotherapy is a result of circulating tumor cells (CTC) in some of the patients with intermediate risk factors.