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Combined radio-chemotherapy in advanced cervical cancer: a phase-II trial with weekly applied carboplatin, 5-fluorouracil and folinic acid
  1. P. Dall,
  2. H. G. Meerpohl,
  3. K. Henne,
  4. A. DU Bois,
  5. W. Achterrath,
  6. H. Frommhold and
  7. A. Pfleiderer
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Radiation Therapy, University of Freiburg, Germany
  1. Address for correspondence: Prof. Dr. H. G. Meerpohl, Direktor der Frauenklinik, St Vincentius-Krankenhäuser, Südendstr. 32, D-76137 Karlsruhe, Germany.


The 5-year survival of patients with advanced cervical cancer is poor. Major problems are the high frequency of pelvic recurrences and distant metastases. To prevent both, various efforts have been made to combine local radiotherapy with systemic chemotherapy. In this prospective study, 28 previously untreated patients with advanced cervical cancer (FIGO IIB-IVB) were treated with a newly designed therapy consisting of fractionated external beam irradiation (54 Gy) followed by two intracavitary cesium (Cs) applications (2 × 15 Gy), combined with carboplatin (70 mg m-2), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (400 mg m-2) and folinic acid(400 mg m-2). Cytotoxic agents were given intravenously on days 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 as 1-day courses during external irradiation followed by three 3-day courses with carboplatin (100 mg m-2 i.v. daily), 5-FU(400 mg m-2 i.v. daily) and folinic acid (400 mg m-2i.v. daily) after 8, 12 and 16 weeks of treatment.

Acute toxicities (≥ WHO grade 2) were leucopenia (27 of 28 patients), diarrhea (23/28), abdominal pain (19/28), nausea (14/28) and skin desquamation (12/28). Clinically diagnosed pelvic response was achieved in 88.5% (23/26) with a complete response of 34.5% (9/26). As yet, 19 of 26 patients (73.1%) are alive and well (persistent complete/partial remission), two patients (7.7%) are alive with local progression, four (15.4%) have died from pelvic and/or distal recurrence and one (3.8%) died some weeks after the start of therapy. The combined modality treatment concept has to be considered for the therapy of advanced cervical cancer and a prospective and randomized trial with a greater number of patients is warranted.

  • 5-fluorouracil
  • carboplatin
  • cervical cancer
  • radiochemotherapy
  • response
  • toxicity

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