Paclitaxel Combined with Cisplatin Chemotherapy Appears More Effective than Cisplatin Therapy Alone for Treatment of Recurrent or Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Cervix

Based on the results of several recent clinical trials, concurrent radiation therapy and cisplatin-based chemotherapy have been recommended as the standard of care. Paclitaxel, a newer chemotherapy agent, is effective in a number of cancers. Paclitaxel has produced partial disappearance of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix in patients who have previously failed cisplatin. Physicians in the Gynecologic Oncology Study Group have evaluated a combination of cisplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy in patients with recurrent or advanced squamous cell carcinoma, and recently published the results in the

Journal of Clinical Oncology. In this clinical study, 47 patients, 90% of whom had previously failed radiation therapy, were treated with the combination of cisplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy. Twelve per cent of patients had a complete disappearance and 34% a partial disappearance of their cancer. The average duration to cancer progression was over 5 months and patients survived an average of 10 months. The physicians concluded that the combination of paclitaxel and cisplatin was highly active in advanced and recurrent squamous cell cancer of the cervix. A clinical trial performing a direct comparison of this regimen to cisplatin alone is currently ongoing. Of greater interest, however, is whether the combination of paclitaxel and cisplatin can improve the outcome of patients with earlier stage cancer. ( Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol17, Issue 9, p 2676, 1999).

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