Chemotherapy for recurrent cervical cancer

Cancer Treat Rev. 2008 Nov;34(7):603-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2008.05.006. Epub 2008 Jul 26.


Purpose: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer of women worldwide and one of the leading cause of death in relative young women. This review gives an outline of chemotherapy of advanced, persistent or recurrent cervical cancer.

Methods: We performed a literature search in the PubMed of almost all relevant articles concerning chemotherapy of advanced, persistent or recurrent cervical cancer.

Results: The available data from the literature is mainly composed of most recent reviews, phase II and randomized phase III clinical trials.

Conclusion: Single-agent cisplatin remains the current standard therapy for advanced, persistent or recurrent cervical cancer. Several single-agents have been tested, but none has been found to be superior compared to cisplatin. Both topotecan and paclitaxel in combination with cisplatin, have yielded superior response rates and progression-free survival without diminishing patient quality of life. However, only the combination of cisplatin and topotecan has improved overall survival. It is important to identify clinical and tumor-related factors predictive of response to cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Future trials are necessary, not only to compare combinations of existing agents, but to incorporate biological agents (monoclonal antibodies or small molecules) to chemotherapy in order to improve the treatment results of advanced, persistent or recurrent cervix cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / adverse effects
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maximum Tolerated Dose
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Topotecan / administration & dosage
  • Topotecan / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology


  • Topotecan
  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin