Chemotherapy for Advanced, Recurrent, and Metastatic Cervical Cancer

When cervical cancer is beyond curative treatment with surgery or radiation therapy, the prognosis is poor and palliation is the primary objective. Early prospective studies identified cisplatin as an active drug for advanced, metastatic, or recurrent cervical cancer, and results with other platinum analogs seemed inferior to cisplatin. Several phase III trials have established the combination of cisplatin plus paclitaxel as standard therapy for comparison. Using pooled data from 3 Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) phase III studies, a predictive model was developed to better identify patients who are unlikely to respond to cisplatin-containing chemotherapy. The GOG is currently developing a phase III trial to investigate the impact of bevacizumab and a regimen containing topotecan instead of cisplatin in combination with paclitaxel chemotherapy and also to externally validate the predictive model. This study has the potential to radically change standard care for cervical cancer chemotherapy. Furthermore, if the predictive model is upheld, then patients with high risk factors for treatment failure may be directed to chemotherapy regimens that do not include cisplatin or to investigational trials.

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Correspondence: David H. Moore, MD, Gynecologic Oncology of Indiana, 5255 East Stop 11 Road, Suite 310, Indianapolis, IN 46237. E-mail: David.Moore@ssfhs.org

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