The high local failure rate in patients with locally advanced carcinoma of the cervix treated with standard radiation has spurred interest in radiosensitization. Cisplatin is the most active single chemotherapeutic agent in squamous carcinoma of the cervix, and is considered to be a radiosensitizer. Based on a previous single-institution study looking at continuous low-dose intra-arterial cisplatin given throughout planned radiation therapy in patients with advanced carcinoma of the cervix, the Gynecologic Oncology Group initiated a limited access pilot study to assess the feasibility of this treatment method for a group-wide study. Patients with locally advanced squamous carcinoma of the cervix and surgically documented negative periaortic lymph nodes were eligible for the study. During surgical staging, the catheters of a totally implantable pump were placed in the internal iliac arteries. The pump was filled with cisplatin which was delivered at 4.5–6.5 mg day−1 continuously throughout both external radiation and brachytherapy. Drug distribution through the catheters was determined using radiolabelled macro-aggregated albumin particles. Three of nine evaluable patients were free of disease at follow-up. Drug distribution was less than optimal through 4.6% of the pump catheters. Five patients had premature discontinuation of the cisplatin for various reasons. These problems resulted in low accrual and subsequent closure of the study. This treatment method is not feasible for a phase III evaluation on a group-wide basis.
- cisplatin and radiotherapy
- intra-arterial cisplatin
- squamous carcinoma of the cervix
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