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Kathryn P. Pennington, Renata R. Urban and Heidi J. Gray

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) was previously considered an acceptable alternative to open radical hysterectomy in the management of early-stage cervical cancer (ESCC), but adequately powered, high-quality prospective trials evaluating survival outcomes were lacking. Recently, a large randomized phase III trial, the Laparoscopic Approach to Cervical Cancer (LACC) trial, showed that MIS for ESCC is associated with a higher risk of recurrence and death compared with open surgery. We review the LACC trial findings in depth, as well as a recent National Cancer Database analysis using propensity score weighting that supports the LACC trial findings. Additional studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms explaining the worse survival associated with MIS for ESCC. This review discusses considerations for integrating the findings of the LACC trial into clinical practice. Based on the high-quality evidence now available, open radical hysterectomy should be offered as standard of care for stage IA2–IB1 cervical cancer and patients should be guided appropriately to make informed shared decision-making if they still desire MIS.