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Capecitabine in patients with platinum-pretreated advanced or recurrent cervical carcinoma: a retrospective study
  1. Maltese Giuseppa,
  2. Lepori Stefano,
  3. Sabatucci Ilaria,
  4. Tripodi Elisa and
  5. Lorusso Domenica
  1. Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Lorusso Domenica, Gynecologic Oncology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan 20133, Italy; kettalorusso{at}


Background Cervical cancer is a common malignancy among women and, when recurring, presents a dismal prognosis. After platinum failure, second-line treatments report response rates ranging from 3–15%, a median progression-free survival of about 3 months and a median overall survival of about 5.5 months.

To retrospectively evaluate the activity and safety of capecitabine in patients with advanced/recurrent cervical carcinoma.


A retrospective review of medical records of recurrent cervical cancer patients, who had failed a previous platinum–paclitaxel treatment and received oral capecitabine 1250 mg/m2 twice daily continuously from day 1 to day 14 every 21 days, was performed from December 2013 to March 2018 at the Gynecologic Oncology Unit of the Fondazione IRCCS National Cancer Institute of Milan, Italy. The response rate was evaluated every three cycles according to Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1 criteria. Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0 were used to evaluate adverse events.

Results We retrospectively analyzed 35 patients with recurrent cervical carcinoma, treated with oral capecitabine. All patients had previously received and failed a combination of carboplatin plus paclitaxel as first-line therapy for advanced/recurrent disease. Median age at the first capecitabine administration was 53 years (range 27–82). All patients were evaluable for response: the overall response rate was 34.2% (2.8% complete responses and 31.4% partial responses) with a clinical benefit rate of 57% (overall response rate plus 22.8% stabilizations of disease). The most common grade 1–2 adverse events per patient were fatigue (71.3%), hand-foot syndrome (57.0%), diarrhea (31.3%), constipation (17.0%), and nausea (10.4%). Only three patients (8.5%) reported grade 3 adverse events.

Conclusions Our data suggest that oral capecitabine should be considered an active and safe treatment in patients with recurrent cervical carcinoma after platinum failure. Based on these results, we consider capecitabine as warranting further clinical evaluation.

  • cervical cancer
  • capecitabine
  • chemotherapy

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned, externally peer reviewed.