Cervical cancer: Combined drug and radiotherapy improves survival

January 19, 2010

Combining drugs and radiotherapy improves the survival chances of women receiving treatment for cervical cancer. These are the conclusions of Cochrane Researchers who carried out the most comprehensive study of the effects of combined drug and radiotherapy in cervical cancer treatment to date.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide. Treatments for the disease have changed markedly over the last decade as a result of guidelines issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1999, which stated that chemoradiotherapy should be considered as an alternative to radiotherapy. Chemoradiotherapy combines chemotherapy (drug treatment) and x-ray treatment, whereas radiotherapy is just x-ray treatment.

"We saw clear evidence that adding chemotherapy to radiotherapy improves survival, as well as disease free survival," said Claire Vale, of the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit in London in the UK. "These are effective, affordable treatments that provide a benchmark for other potential treatment approaches."

The researchers analysed data from 15 trials involving a total of 3,452 women. They found that compared to women who had radiotherapy alone, women receiving chemoradiotherapy were more likely to live for longer after treatment. Five years after receiving treatment, 66 out of every 100 women survived with chemoradiotherapy compared to 60 out of 100 with radiotherapy. In addition, treatment with chemoradiotherapy reduced the chance of the cancer coming back or spreading to other areas. Crucially, their analysis showed that the benefits of chemoradiotherapy were not just restricted to the platinum-based drugs recommended by the NCI.

Based on a small subset of the data, there was also an indication that continuing drug therapy after chemoradiotherapy could improve survival rates even further, although the researchers say more studies are required to confirm this. "We suggest that new trials are needed to find out whether giving extra chemotherapy is better for women with cervical cancer or not," said Vale.
-end-


Wiley

Related Cervical Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

HPV strains may impact cervical cancer prognosis
An analysis of cervical cancers in Ugandan women has uncovered significant genomic differences between tumours caused by different strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), signifying HPV type may impact cervical cancer characteristics and prognosis.

American Cancer Society updates guideline for cervical cancer screening
An updated cervical cancer screening guideline from the American Cancer Society reflects the rapidly changing landscape of cervical cancer prevention in the United States, calling for less and more simplified screening.

Disasters can affect cervical cancer screening for years
Screening is important for the early detection of cervical cancer, but rates were significantly affected, in some areas for years, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Cervical cancer elimination possible within two decades in the US
At current levels of screening and HPV vaccination, cervical cancer incidence in the US is projected to fall below the threshold of elimination by 2038-2046.

Cervical cancer screening saves lives
Three-year interval in screening for cervical cancer is as effective as annual checkups, study finds.

Cervical cancer could be eliminated within a century
Cervical cancer could be eliminated worldwide as a public health issue within the next century.

25 years of learning to combat cervical cancer
A recent paper from the lab of Professor Sudhir Krishna at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, reviews the progress made in cervical cancer research over the past 25 years.

Cervical cancer screening numbers drop off in women 45-65
Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, and much of the attention in recent years has focused on preventing infections in younger women through HPV vaccination.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of 12 cervical cancer screenings
This cost-effectiveness analysis incorporates women's preferences and estimates quality of life and economic outcomes for 12 cervical cancer screening strategies.

Read More: Cervical Cancer News and Cervical Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.