University Leicester Logo Cervical cancer that seemingly occurs between 40 and 55 years of age cannot be treated easily. This investigation can probably help physicians to provide a more effective treatment for such patients and improve the rate of survival. A latest study triggered by the University of Leicester affirms that a combination of the drug cisplatin and radiotherapy display better results than only radiotherapy in patients with cervical cancer.

The cisplatin drug is believed to be a platinum-based molecule directly affecting the DNA strands within cells for controlled cell death or ‘apoptosis’. The investigators analyzed case histories of 1,412 patients from 42 different cancer treatment centers. This data was accumulated by the experts in 2001-2002. These case histories included information about the treatment given and follow-up notes which continued for five years on an average. These notes informed whether or not cancer recurred in the pelvic area.

Dr Paul Symonds, from the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Leicester Royal Infirmary, elucidated, “The addition of cisplatin to radiation has literally saved the lives of hundreds of women with locally advanced cancer in the east midlands. What the national audit has shown is that the addition of cisplatin improves survival. The addition of cisplatin in routine UK practice reduces the odds of death by 23%. As this is curative treatment we can genuinely say that this is a reduction in the odds of death. This audit showed a marked improvement in 5-year survival of locally advanced cervix cancer compared to the last national audit of patients who were treated in 1993. Moreover the UK results, as derived from a total of 42 centers (most district general hospitals) show that the results in the UK are now compatible with the best international practice.”

Though the combination of radiotherapy and cisplatin was assumed to be more effective in curing cervical cancer, data on the long-term effects of the combined treatment was not available. In the current investigation, authors scrutinized the long-term survival rates of patients after the completion of treatment. When radiotherapy was compared with ‘chemoradiotherapy,’ the scientists used a complex statistical analysis to excluding variable factors. It was concluded that a combination of cisplatin and radiotherapy can decline the likelihood of death by 23 percent in cervical cancer patients.

The study will be published in the September issue of the publication Clinical Oncology.