Objective To evaluate the role of dose-dense neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical hysterectomy in reducing adjuvant radiotherapy in International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 2018 stage IB1-IB2/IIA1 cervical cancer with disrupted stromal ring and as an alternative to concurrent chemoradiotherapy in FIGO 2018 stages IB3/IIA2.
Methods This was a retrospective cohort study including patients with FIGO 2018 stage IB1-IIA2 cervical cancer undergoing dose-dense neoadjuvant chemotherapy at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy between July 2014 and December 2022. Weekly carboplatin (AUC2 or AUC2.7) plus paclitaxel (80 or 60 mg/m2, respectively) was administered for six to nine cycles. Radiological response was assessed by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) v1.1 criteria. The optimal pathological response was defined as residual tumor ≤3 mm. Kaplan–Meier curves were used to estimate survival rates. A systematic literature review on dose-dense neoadjuvant chemotherapy before surgery for cervical cancer was also performed.
Results A total of 63 patients with a median age of 42.8 years (IQR 35.3–47.9) were included: 39.7% stage IB-IB2/IIA1 and 60.3% stage IB3/IIA2. The radiological response was as follows: 81% objective response rate (17.5% complete and 63.5% partial), 17.5% stable disease, and 1.6% progressive disease. The operability rate was 92.1%. The optimal pathological response rate was 27.6%. Adjuvant radiotherapy was administered in 25.8% of cases. The median follow-up for patients who underwent radical hysterectomy was 49.7 months (IQR 16.8–67.7). The 5-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 79% (95% CI 0.63 to 0.88) and 92% (95% CI 0.80 to 0.97), respectively. Fifteen studies including 697 patients met the eligibility criteria for the systematic review. The objective response rate, operability rate, and adjuvant radiotherapy rate across studies ranged between 52.6% and 100%, 64% and 100%, and 4% and 70.6%, respectively.
Conclusions Dose-dense neoadjuvant chemotherapy before radical surgery could be a valid strategy to avoid radiotherapy in stage IB1-IIA2 cervical cancer, especially in young patients desiring to preserve overall quality of life. Prospective research is warranted to provide robust, high-quality evidence.
- Cervical Cancer
- Quality of Life (PRO)/Palliative Care
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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NC and FM contributed equally.
Contributors GC, SB, ML: conceptualization, data curation, investigation, methodology, resources, software, validation, visualization, writing - original draft, writing - review and editing. LADV, GP, VM, IB, GS, FP, RL, WC, GDA, VZ, AM: validation, writing - review and editing. NC, FM: conceptualization, project administration, validation, supervision, writing - review and editing. All authors read and approved the final manuscript for publication. GC accepts full responsibility for the finished work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish.
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.
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