Five years' experience treating locally advanced cervical cancer with concurrent chemoradiotherapy and high-dose-rate brachytherapy: results from a single institution

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 May 1;74(1):140-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.06.1920. Epub 2008 Oct 14.


Purpose: To assess the clinical outcomes after concurrent cisplatin chemotherapy and radiotherapy (RT) followed by high-dose-rate brachytherapy for locally advanced carcinoma of the cervix and perform a multivariate analysis of the prognostic factors.

Methods and materials: The outcomes were analyzed for all women treated between 1999 and 2004 with concurrent cisplatin chemotherapy and RT followed by high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used for overall survival (OS), local control (LC), and distant control (DC). The Cox proportional hazards model was used to perform multivariate analysis of the prognostic variables.

Results: The standard regimen comprised whole pelvic external RT 45 Gy in 25 fractions with concurrent weekly cisplatin 40 mg/m(2), followed by four high-dose-rate brachytherapy insertions of 6 Gy. Patients with radiologically enlarged para-aortic lymph nodes underwent extended-field RT. Of 92 patients, the OS rate was 72% at 2 years and 55% at 5 years. The LC rate was 76% at 2 years and 67% at 5 years. The DC rate was 68% at 2 years and 48% at 5 years. The most important prognostic factor for OS, LC, and DC was the pretreatment hemoglobin. For OS, the tumor size and the presence of enlarged lymph nodes were also important. For LC, the number of brachytherapy insertions was important; and for DC, the number of chemotherapy treatments was important. Of the patients, 4% experienced late Grade 3 or 4 toxicity.

Conclusion: The results of our study have shown that the regimen is effective, with acceptable long-term side effects. In this cohort, the most important prognostic factor was the pretreatment hemoglobin level, a disease-related factor. However, more effective systemic treatments are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / radiotherapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Brachytherapy / adverse effects
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents / administration & dosage
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / blood
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / radiotherapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Radiation-Sensitizing Agents
  • Hemoglobin A
  • Cisplatin