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Cervical Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stages IB and IIA Cervical Cancer Treatment

Standard Treatment Options for Stages IB and IIA Cervical Cancer

Standard treatment options for stage IB and stage IIA cervical cancer include the following:

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  1. Radiation therapy with concomitant chemotherapy.
  2. Radical hysterectomy and bilateral pelvic lymphadenectomy with or without total pelvic radiation therapy plus chemotherapy.

The size of the tumor is an important prognostic factor and should be carefully evaluated in choosing optimal therapy.[1]

Either radiation therapy or radical hysterectomy and bilateral lymph-node dissection results in cure rates of 85% to 90% for women with Féderation Internationale de Gynécologie et d'Obstétrique (FIGO) stages IA2 and IB1 small-volume disease. The choice of either treatment depends on patient factors and available local expertise. A randomized trial reported identical 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival rates when comparing radiation therapy with radical hysterectomy.[2]

In stage IB2, for tumors that expand the cervix more than 4 cm, the primary treatment should be concomitant chemotherapy and radiation therapy.[3]

Radiation therapy with concomitant chemotherapy

Concurrent, cisplatin-based chemotherapy with radiation therapy is the standard of care for women who require radiation therapy for treatment of cervical cancer.[4,5,6,7,8,9,10] Radiation therapy protocols for patients with cervical cancer have historically used dosing at two anatomical points, termed point A and point B, to standardize the doses received. Point A is defined as 2 cm from the external os, and 2 cm lateral, relative to the endocervical canal. Point B is also 2 cm from the external os, and 5 cm lateral from the patient midline, relative to the bony pelvis. In general, for smaller tumors, the curative-intent dose for point A is around 70 Gy, whereas for larger tumors, the point A dose may approach 90 Gy.

Evidence (radiation with concomitant chemotherapy):

  1. Three randomized, phase III trials have shown an OS advantage for cisplatin-based therapy given concurrently with radiation therapy,[4,5,6,7] while one trial that examined this regimen demonstrated no benefit.[8] The patient populations in these studies included women with FIGO stages IB2 to IVA cervical cancer treated with primary radiation therapy, and women with FIGO stages I to IIA disease who, at the time of primary surgery, were found to have poor prognostic factors, including metastatic disease in pelvic lymph nodes, parametrial disease, and positive surgical margins.
    • Although the positive trials vary somewhat in terms of the stage of disease, dose of radiation, and schedule of cisplatin and radiation, the trials demonstrate significant survival benefit for this combined approach.
    • The risk of death from cervical cancer was decreased by 30% to 50% with the use of concurrent chemoradiation therapy.
    • Other trials have confirmed these findings.[9,10]
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