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Chemotherapy treatments

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Chemotherapy may be indicated in:

  • advanced disease - with extrapelvic spread
  • recurrent disease
  • where radiotherapy has been ineffective

Most treatments are based on cytotoxics based on cisplatin.

Chemotherapy is not a first choice treatment because:

  • cervical carcinoma is relatively radiosensitive
  • large, bulky tumours may have necrotic centres which are never reached
  • tissue vascularity is reduced following radiotherapy so drug uptake is sub-optimal

However, objective improvement is reported in 50-65% of cases.

NICE state that (1):

  • topotecan in combination with cisplatin is recommended as a treatment option for women with recurrent or stage IVB cervical cancer only if they have not previously received cisplatin


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