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Treatment Compliance and Outcomes for Women With Locoregionally Advanced Cervical Cancer Treated in a Safety Net Health System
  1. Gillian L. Hsieh, MD*,
  2. Sarah Linesch,
  3. Ahmar Sajjad, BS,
  4. Andrew Macdonald, BS,
  5. Mark Bonnen, MD,
  6. Matthew L. Anderson, MD, PhD*, and
  7. Michelle S. Ludwig, MD, MPH, PhD*,
  1. *Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and
  2. Radiation Oncology, and
  3. Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Gillian L. Hsieh, MD, One Baylor Plaza, BCM610, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: ghsieh{at}


Objective This study aims to assess treatment compliance among women undergoing definitive chemoradiation with weekly cisplatin for cervical cancer within a safety net health system and to quantify the impact of chemotherapy compliance on outcomes.

Materials and Methods All women who were treated for International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IB2 to stage IVA cervical cancer between April 2008 and May 2014 were identified. Treatment delays were attributed to toxicity, comorbid conditions, or system issues, or categorized as patient-initiated. Disease-free survival and overall survival of women who received fewer than 6 versus 6 or more doses of weekly cisplatin 40 mg/m2 were compared using Kaplan-Meier analyses.

Results One hundred nineteen women (mean [SD] age, 48.5 [11.8] years) were identified. Most women (n = 112; 94.1%) completed definitive radiotherapy, requiring a mean (SD) of 56.5 (20.1) days. Sixty-four women (57.1%) completed definitive radiotherapy in 56 days or less. Only 44 women (36.4%) received 6 or more cycles of cisplatin. Of 122 delayed cycles, reasons for delay were as follows: grade 2 or higher toxicity (n = 70; 57.4%), medical comorbidity (n = 12; 9.8%), system issues (n = 9; 7.4%), and patient-initiated (n = 14; 11.5%). Multiple issues complicated treatment for 3 doses (2.5%). Reasons for delay were not documented in 14 doses (11.5%). Among patients who received 6 or more cycles, disease-free survival improved by 17.4 months (mean [SD], 61.1 [3.7] vs 43.7 [4.3] months, P = 0.002) and overall survival improved by 8.6 months (mean [SD], 68.7 [2.3] vs 60.1 [3.7] months, P = 0.011).

Conclusions Higher rates of toxicity and psychosocial barriers to chemotherapy compliance adversely impact survival among women who seek care in low-resource settings. In our population, administration of all 6 cycles of cisplatin was necessary for optimal survival benefit. Future efforts to improve cervical cancer outcomes should address preventable reasons for treatment delays among underinsured or uninsured individuals.

  • Cervical cancer
  • Cisplatin
  • Underserved
  • Compliance
  • Chemoradiation

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  • No internal or external sources of funding supported this work.

  • All authors actively participated in the conceptualization, planning, and execution of all experimental work, data analysis, and manuscript preparation.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.