Objectives: This study was undertaken to determine the tolerability of a 7-week schedule of external beam radiation therapy, high-dose-rate brachytherapy, and weekly cisplatin and paclitaxel in patients with locally advanced carcinoma of the cervix.
Methods: Twenty-nine patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stages IB2 to IVa cervical cancer were treated with 40 mg/m2 per week of intravenous (i.v.) cisplatin and 50 mg/m2 per week of i.v. paclitaxel combined with 45 Gy of pelvic external beam radiation therapy and 30 Gy of high-dose-rate brachytherapy.
Results: Eleven patients (37.9%) were able to complete the 6 scheduled cycles of chemotherapy. The median number of weekly chemotherapy cycles administered was 5 (range, 2-7). Thirty-five (20.1%) of 174 cycles of chemotherapy were not given because of toxicity. The median dose intensity of cisplatin was 31 mg/m2 per week (95% confidence interval [CI], 25.2-36.8); that of paclitaxel was 44 mg/m2 per week (95% CI, 39.9-48.3). Twenty-two patients (78.6%) were able to complete the planned radiation course in less than 7 weeks. Median radiation treatment length was 45 days (95% CI, 43.4-46.6). After a median follow-up of 48 months, 7 patients (24.1%) experienced severe (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade 3 or higher) late toxicity. No fatal events were observed. Seven patients have failed, 1 locally and 6 at distant sites. The 8-year local/pelvic control rate was 95.7%, and the 8-year freedom from systemic failure rate was 76.1%. Eight-year actuarial disease-free survival and overall survival were 63.1% and 75.9%, respectively.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated unacceptable toxicity of combining the stated doses of concurrent cisplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy with definitive radiotherapy for patients with advanced cervical cancer. Additional phase I/II trials are recommended to clearly establish the recommended phase II dose for these drugs.
- Cervical cancer
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Drs Rafael Martínez-Monge and Miren Gaztañaga equally contributed to this article.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest. No funding was received for this work.