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Dose-dense paclitaxel/carboplatin as neo-adjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical surgery in locally advanced cervical cancer: a prospective phase II study

Abstract

Purpose

The role of dose-dense schedules in the neo-adjuvant treatment (NACT) of locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) has been reported. This phase II study investigated activity of dose-dense paclitaxel/platinum before radical surgery (RS) in LACC patients.

Methods

The primary end-point was the rate of optimal pathological response (OPR: pathological complete/microscopic response). NACT (paclitaxel: 80 mg/m2) and carboplatin (AUC 2) were administered for 6 weeks. Overall response rate (ORR) to NACT was assessed by the RECIST criteria. Patients amenable to surgery were triaged to RS. The null hypothesis was that the OPR rate would improve from 30.0 to 45.0% (α error: 0.05, β error: 0.2). The regimen would be considered active if > 25 OPRs were found.

Results

36 patients were enrolled; 19 patients were stage IIB (52.8%) and 16 (44.4%) patients had pelvic lymph-node involvement at imaging. All patients completed neo-adjuvant chemotherapy; ORR was of 75.0%. RS was performed in 29 (93.5%) patients. Since the OPR was 16.1%, we evaluated the real chances to achieve the number of OPR required by the Simon design and decided to close the study. Grade 3/4 hematological toxicity occurred in 5 patients; surgical morbidity occurred in 14 patients. The 2-year PFS rate was 69.0%.

Conclusion

Dose-dense neo-adjuvant paclitaxel/carboplatin is feasible and safe in LACC patients; however, failure to achieve the primary end-point has to be recognized. Given the heterogeneity of the available studies, robust data from an adequately sized prospective study focused on more homogeneous series are required.

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Correspondence to Giacomo Corrado.

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Ferrandina, G., Corrado, G., Vitrano, G. et al. Dose-dense paclitaxel/carboplatin as neo-adjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical surgery in locally advanced cervical cancer: a prospective phase II study. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 83, 431–438 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00280-018-3742-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00280-018-3742-1

Keywords

  • Locally advanced cervical cancer
  • Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Dose density
  • Radical hysterectomy
  • Personalized medicine