Adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy for early stage cervical cancer

Daniela D Rosa, Lídia Rf Medeiros, Maria I Edelweiss, Mary C Bozzetti, Paula R Pohlmann, Airton T Stein, Heather O Dickinson
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009 July 8, (3): CD005342

BACKGROUND: Patients with early stage cervical cancer (stages IA2, IB1 or IIA) with risk factors such as lymph node metastasis, lympho vascular space invasion, depth invasion of more than 10mm, microscopic parametrial invasion, non-squamous histology and positive surgical margins have a high risk of recurrence when compared to patients with early stage cervical cancer with no risk factors for recurrence.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy after radical hysterectomy, radiotherapy, or both in the treatment of early stage cervical cancer (stages IA2, IB1 or IIA).

SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group Trials Register, The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) on The Cochrane Library Issue 1, 2009), MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, BIOLOGICAL ABSTRACTS and Cancerlit, the National Research Register and Clinical Trials register, with no language restriction. Abstracts of scientific meetings and the citation lists of included studies and other relevant publications were checked through hand searching and experts in the field were contacted to identify further reports of trials.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing adjuvant radiotherapy with adjuvant radiotherapy and cisplatin-chemotherapy after radical surgery for early stage cervix cancer were included.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors extracted data independently to assess whether the studies met the specified inclusion criteria. Any discrepancies were solved by a third and a forth review author. Meta-analysis was performed using a random effects model, with death and disease progression as outcomes.

MAIN RESULTS: Three trials were included. Two trials enrolling 325 participants, of whom 297 (91%) were assessed and compared radiotherapy and chemotherapy with radiotherapy alone found that adjuvant chemotherapy significantly reduced the risk of death (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.36 to 0.87) and disease progression (HR = 0.47, 95%CI: 0.30 to 0.74), with no heterogeneity between trials (I(2) = 0% for both meta-analyses). One trial assessing 71 participants compared chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy with radiotherapy alone and found no significant difference between the two groups (HR = 1.34; 95%CI: 0.24 to 7.66). The median follow up of patients varied from 29 to 42 months.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The addition of platinum-based chemotherapy to radiotherapy may offer clinical benefit in the adjuvant treatment of early stage cervical cancer with risk factors for recurrence. However, the evidence is limited because the selected studies were quantitatively and qualitatively limited, with small number of patients and limited period of follow-up.

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