Concurrent Chemoradiation for Cancer of the Cervix: Results of a Multi-Institutional Study From the Setting of a Developing Country (India)

J Glob Oncol. 2015 Sep 23;1(1):11-22. doi: 10.1200/JGO.2015.000877. eCollection 2015 Oct.


Purpose: The primary output of hospital-based cancer registries is data on cancer stage and treatment-based survival that can be used to evaluate patient care, but because there are many challenges in obtaining follow-up details, a separate study on patterns of care and patterns of survival for patients at selected sites was initiated under the National Cancer Registry Programme of India. This article presents the results for cervical cancer.

Patients and methods: A standardized patient information form was used to record patient information, and data were entered into a central repository-the National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research. The study patients were from 12 institutions and were diagnosed between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2008. Patterns of treatment were assessed for 7,336 patients, and patterns of survival were determined for 2,669 patients from six institutions, at least 70% of whom had data regarding follow-up as of December 31, 2012.

Results: Of 7,336 patients, 55.5% received optimal radiotherapy (RT). In all, 80.9% of patients had locally advanced cancers (stage IIB to IVA), 51.1% received RT alone, and 44.4% received concurrent chemoradiation (RTCT). In 1,753 patients with locally advanced cancers, significantly better survival was observed with RTCT than with RT alone (5-year cumulative survival, 70.2% v 47.3%; hazard ratio, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.56).

Conclusion: A conservative estimate indicates that, on an annual basis, 38,771 patients with cervical cancers in India alone do not get the benefit of RTCT and thus they have poorer survival. There is a need to reiterate the National Cancer Institute's alert that advised supplementing chemotherapy to radiation for locally advanced cancer of the cervix in the context of the developing world, where 84.3% of cancers of the cervix occur.