Purpose: To determine whether the addition of cisplatin-based chemotherapy (CT) to pelvic radiation therapy (RT) will improve the survival of early-stage, high-risk patients with cervical carcinoma.
Patients and methods: Patients with clinical stage IA(2), IB, and IIA carcinoma of the cervix, initially treated with radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy, and who had positive pelvic lymph nodes and/or positive margins and/or microscopic involvement of the parametrium were eligible for this study. Patients were randomized to receive RT or RT + CT. Patients in each group received 49.3 GY RT in 29 fractions to a standard pelvic field. Chemotherapy consisted of bolus cisplatin 70 mg/m(2) and a 96-hour infusion of fluorouracil 1,000 mg/m(2)/d every 3 weeks for four cycles, with the first and second cycles given concurrent to RT.
Results: Between 1991 and 1996, 268 patients were entered onto the study. Two hundred forty-three patients were assessable (127 RT + CT patients and 116 RT patients). Progression-free and overall survival are significantly improved in the patients receiving CT. The hazard ratios for progression-free survival and overall survival in the RT only arm versus the RT + CT arm are 2.01 (P =.003) and 1.96 (P =. 007), respectively. The projected progression-free survivals at 4 years is 63% with RT and 80% with RT + CT. The projected overall survival rate at 4 years is 71% with RT and 81% with RT + CT. Grades 3 and 4 hematologic and gastrointestinal toxicity were more frequent in the RT + CT group.
Conclusion: The addition of concurrent cisplatin-based CT to RT significantly improves progression-free and overall survival for high-risk, early-stage patients who undergo radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy for carcinoma of the cervix.