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Pharmacotherapy Options for Locally Advanced and Advanced Cervical Cancer

Abstract

Cervical cancer continues to be a significant health burden worldwide. Globally, the majority of cancers are locally advanced at diagnosis; hence, radiation remains the most frequently used therapeutic modality. Currently, the value of adding cisplatin or cisplatin-based chemotherapy to radiation for the treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer is strongly supported by randomized studies and meta-analyses. Nevertheless, despite these significant achievements, therapeutic results are far from optimal; thus, novel therapies need to be investigated. A recent, randomized, phase III trial has shown for the first time that combination chemotherapy with cisplatin and gemcitabine concurrently with radiation improves parameters of survival over cisplatin alone and establishes a new standard for the management of locally advanced cervical cancer. On the other hand, advanced disease, presenting either as an International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage IVB or as persistent or recurrent to primary therapy without local curative options, remains a devastating group of diseases with no options other than palliative chemotherapy. Recent results from the GOG (Gynecologic and Oncologic Group)-204 study demonstrate that cisplatin-doublets with paclitaxel, vinorelbine, gemcitabine or topotecan only produce small improvements in survival, although with different toxicity patterns; hence, patient-related factors are important when choosing any one of these regimens. The role of targeted therapies both in locally advanced and advanced disease is promising, but still at an investigational stage.

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No sources of funding have been used in the preparation of this manuscript. The authors have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the contents of this review.

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Correspondence to Dr Alfonso Duenãs-González.

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Duenãs-González, A., Cetina, L., Coronel, J. et al. Pharmacotherapy Options for Locally Advanced and Advanced Cervical Cancer. Drugs 70, 403–432 (2010). https://doi.org/10.2165/11534370-000000000-00000

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Keywords

  • Overall Survival
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Paclitaxel
  • Gemcitabine
  • Carboplatin