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Evaluating Contemporary Radiotherapy Approaches in the Primary Treatment of Cervical Cancer
  1. Rajiv Samant, MD*,,
  2. Sofya Kobeleva, MD,
  3. Choan E, MD*,,
  4. Khalid Balaraj, MD,
  5. Tien Le, MD,§ and
  6. Michael Fung-Kee-Fung, MD,§
  1. * Division of Radiation Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital;
  2. Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada;
  3. King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; and
  4. § Division of Gynecologic Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Rajiv Samant, MD, Division of Radiation Oncology, The Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8L6. E-mail: rsamant{at}


Purpose: Radiotherapy with concurrent cisplatinum-based chemotherapy became a standard recommendation for the management of advanced cervical cancer in 1999. We reviewed our experience with this approach to determine the impact on patient outcomes.

Methods: A retrospective review of all cervical cancer patients treated with curative intent using radical radiotherapy ± chemotherapy from 1992 to 2005 was performed. Survival and relapse rates were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and were compared using the log-rank test.

Results: During this period, 224 treated patients were identified: 153 (68%) were treated between 1992 and 1999 (group 1) and 71 (32%) were treated after 1999 (group 2). The median age was 53 and 55 years with a median follow-up of 49 and 34 months for groups 1 and 2, respectively. Stage classification and histological diagnosis were similar for both groups. Treatment usually consisted of external beam pelvic radiotherapy (40-45 Gy in 20-25 fractions) followed by low-dose rate brachytherapy (35-40 Gy to point A). Chemotherapy consisted of weekly intravenous cisplatinum (40 mg/m2) given concurrently with pelvic radiation. The proportion of patients receiving chemotherapy increased significantly after 1999, 12% in group 1 compared with 79% in group 2 (P < 0.01). The 5-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 53% and 54% for group 1 and 64% and 67% for group 2. The improvement in PFS for group 2 approached statistical significance (P = 0.06), but the difference in OS did not.

Conclusions: There has been a significant increase in the use of concurrent chemoradiation for cervical cancer treatment after 1999, and this seems to have led to higher rates of PFS and OS, although these have yet to achieve statistical significance.

  • Cervical cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Treatment approaches
  • Outcomes

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  • The authors do not have any conflict of interest to declare with respect to the article.