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Review
, 42 (5-6), 546-56

A Systematic Overview of Radiation Therapy Effects in Cervical Cancer (Cervix Uteri)

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Review

A Systematic Overview of Radiation Therapy Effects in Cervical Cancer (Cervix Uteri)

Nina Einhorn et al. Acta Oncol.

Abstract

A systematic review of radiation therapy trials in several tumour types was performed by The Swedish Council of Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU). The procedures for evaluation of the scientific literature are described separately (Acta Oncol 2003; 42: 357-365). This synthesis of the literature on radiation therapy for cervical cancer is based on data from 1 meta-analysis and 34 randomized trials. In total, 35 scientific articles are included, involving 7 952 patients. The results were compared with those of a similar overview from 1996 including 34 024 patients. The conclusions reached can be summarized in these points: There are limited scientific data supporting that postoperative pelvic radiotherapy improves disease-free survival in early cervical cancer. No firm conclusion can be drawn. There is moderate scientific evidence that external beam radiotherapy combined with brachytherapy gives a similar disease-free and overall survival rate as radical hysterectomy in early cervical cancer. There is strong scientific evidence that concomitant radiochemotherapy improves disease-free and overall survival compared to radiotherapy alone in early cervical cancer. The NCI has recently published an announcement stating that cisplatin-based chemotherapy should be used concomitantly with radiotherapy in cervical cancer. No solid documentation for this statement can be found concerning locally advanced stages ( >IIB). There is a strong scientific evidence that cisplatin-based chemotherapy given concomitantly with radiotherapy is superior to concomitant chemotherapy with hydroxyurea. There is no scientific evidence to show that neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy improves disease-free or overall survival compared to radiotherapy alone in patients with localized cervical cancer. There is moderate scientific evidence that high-dose-rate brachytherapy gives the same local control rate as low-dose-rate brachytherapy but with fewer rectal complications.

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