Simultaneous radiochemotherapy in cervical cancer: Recommendations for chemotherapy

Jürgen Dunst*, Gabriele Haensgen

*Corresponding author for this work
25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Simultaneous radiochemotherapy has recently been demonstrated to be superior to radiation alone in the treatment of cervical cancer. The objective of this article is to summarize the data of major randomized trials and to derive recommendations for daily clinical practice. Materials and Methods: We have analyzed the data from seven randomized trials in the recent literature in which radiotherapy alone as standard treatment has been compared to simultaneous radiochemotherapy. Four trials used cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens, 5-FU, mitomycin C and epirubicin were used each in one trial. Results: All trials demonstrated some improvement in survival which was significant in the studies with cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens. The survival benefit resulted mainly from an improvement in local control whereas chemotherapy had only a small and insignificant effect on distant metastases. Thus, the main action of chemotherapy is "radiosensitization". Cisplatin as single drug yielded comparable results as compared to combined regimens although the cisplatin dose was lower in the studies with combination chemotherapy. For the definitive treatment of locally advanced cancers, monotherapy with cisplatin can be recommended. Mitomycin C offers an attractive alternative to cisplatin in patients with contraindications for cisplatin. For postoperative radiochemotherapy, a combination of cisplatin/5-FU should be used because data with cisplatin alone are lacking so far. Simultaneous radiochemotherapy should also be considered for the curative treatment of local recurrences. Conclusions: The addition of simultaneous chemotherapy to radiotherapy is indicated in the vast majority of patients with cervical cancers who are treated with curative intent.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStrahlentherapie und Onkologie
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)635-640
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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