The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the management of locally advanced cervix cancer: a systematic review

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Mohammed Osman |


Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced cervix cancer has comparable benefits to concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT), but with fewer side effects. This systematic review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the benefits of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for the management of locally advanced cervix cancer from stage IB2 (tumor >4.0 cm) to IIIB (tumor extending to the pelvic wall and/or hydronephrosis). Our primary objective was to assess benefits in terms of survival. The data source included the USA national library of medicine, Medline search, and the National Cancer Institute PDQ Clinical Protocols. Inclusion criteria for consideration in the current systematic review included studies published between January 1997 and December 2012. In terms of histology, they had to be focused on squamous cell carcinoma, adenosquamous carcinoma, and/or adenocarcinoma. Patients should be either chemotherapy naïve or cervix cancer chemotherapy naïve, and have a performance status ≤2. The search in the above-mentioned scientific websites led to identify 49 publications, 19 of which were excluded, as they did not meet the inclusion criteria of this systematic review. Therefore only 30 studies were deemed eligible. Data was collected from 1760 patients enrolled in the current systematic review study. The mean age was 45.2 years. The mean tumor size was 4.7 cm. The most commonly used chemotherapies were cisplatin doublets. Paclitaxel was the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agent in the doublets. The mean chemotherapy cycles were 2.7. After chemotherapy, patients underwent surgery after a mean time of 2.5 weeks. The standard operation was radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymphadenectomy. Chemotherapy achieved an objective response rate of 84%. The 5-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 61.9% and 72.8% respectively. The treatment protocol was associated with a mild early toxicity profile. Leucopenia and neutropenia were the most common side effects. Late toxicity was also generally mild and mainly associated with bladder dysfunction and vaginal dehiscence. The quality of the studies was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa quality assessment scale. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy achieved comparable survival results to CCRT, and was associated with less toxicity.

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How to Cite
Osman, M. (2014). The role of neoadjuvant chemotherapy in the management of locally advanced cervix cancer: a systematic review. Oncology Reviews, 8(2).