Radiation therapy versus surgery for patients with cervical squamous cell carcinoma who have undergone neoadjuvant chemotherapy revisited
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The therapeutic significance of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) followed by radiation therapy (RT) was negated during the early 1990s. Here, we compared post-NAC RT to surgery for chemo-sensitive cervical squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
This study included 79 consecutive patients with cervical SCC who were treated by NAC followed by surgery (n = 49) or by definitive RT (n = 30). We compared characteristics and survival outcomes between the surgery and RT groups by their responses to NAC.
Of the 79 patients, 70 (89%) had stage II–IV disease and 41 (52%) had radiological pelvic lymph node enlargement. The 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) rate of the entire cohort was 66.4% (median follow-up 54 months). Fifty-five patients (70%) achieved sufficient (complete or partial) responses to NAC. Among patients with insufficient NAC responses, the 5-year DSS rate of the surgery group (55.6%) was significantly higher than the RT group (20.0%; P = 0.044). However, among patients with sufficient responses to NAC, 5-year DSS rates did not significantly differ between the surgery and RT groups (82.3 vs 78.6%; P = 0.79) even though the RT group had many more unfavorable prognostic factors and received fewer subsequent treatments than the surgery group.
Post-NAC survival outcomes among patients with chemo-sensitive cervical SCC who then underwent RT were not inferior to those treated with surgery, and NAC did not detract from the efficacy of subsequent RT. Among selected patients who respond favorably to NAC, RT could be a less invasive substitute for surgery without compromising treatment outcomes.
KeywordsCervical cancer Neoadjuvant chemotherapy Primary chemotherapy Radiotherapy Prognosis
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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