Since the late 1990s, when a spate of US studies reported the benefit of chemoradiation for cervical cancer, there has been a dearth of clinical trials in cervical cancer. This requires to be addressed with urgency because this disease is responsible for a quarter of a million deaths globally each year, mostly in developing countries, but therapeutic advances are required in all health care settings.
The Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup (GCIG) is a worldwide collaborative of leading national groups that develops and promotes multinational trials in gynecologic cancer. In recognition of the pressing need for action, the GCIG convened an international meeting with expert representations from most of the GCIG groups and selected large centers in low- and middle-income countries. The focus was to identify consensus on several concepts for clinical trials, which would be developed and promoted by the GCIG and launched with major international participation.
The first half of the meeting was devoted to a resume of the current state of the knowledge and identifying the gaps most needing new evidence. The second half of the meeting was concerned with achieving consensus on the way forward. There were 2 principal outcomes. The first was a proposal to establish, under the umbrella of GCIG, a cervical cancer trials network of centers from countries currently outside GCIG (Eastern Europe, India, Thailand, Southern Africa, and South and Central America), which could increase international participation in trials, conducted within the principles of good clinical practice. The second was to identify the priorities for clinical trials. These included additional systemic therapy before or after chemoradiation; less radical surgery for small, early-stage tumors; the use of fewer fractions to improve cost-effectiveness of treatment in centers with limited resources; and chemotherapy to improve resectability of bulky tumors.
- Cancer of the cervix
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