Trial For Cervical Cancer Successfully Lowered Death Rate By 35% Deemed Remarkable

National Today

A recent cervical cancer trial conducted in the UK has shed light on the potential efficacy of a chemotherapy drug already available, suggesting that its administration at a specific timing could significantly enhance survival rates. The study, funded by Cancer Research UK and presented at the ESMO medical conference in Madrid, revealed a noteworthy 35% reduction in mortality rates, a result deemed ‘remarkable’ by the organization.

While cervical cancer poses a lower risk compared to breast cancer, an estimated 14,000 cases are expected to be diagnosed in the US this year, according to the American Cancer Society. The trial focused on 500 female participants aged between 26 and 72, randomly assigning them to two groups. One group received chemoradiation therapy alone, while the other underwent induction chemotherapy using a combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel, followed by the same chemoradiation therapy in week 7. The positive outcome of the trial suggests the potential of optimizing existing drugs to achieve significant advancements in the treatment of cervical cancer.

“Timing is everything when you’re treating cancer,” said Dr. Iain Foulkes, from Cancer Research UK, in a statement. “A growing body of evidence is showing the value of additional rounds of chemotherapy before other treatments like surgery and radiotherapy in several other cancers.”

“Not only can it reduce the chances of cancer coming back, it can be delivered quickly using drugs already available worldwide.”

Following a comprehensive 5-year follow-up, it was observed that 80% of the female participants who underwent the combined treatment of chemotherapy and radiotherapy remained alive, with 73% exhibiting no recurrence of cancer. The trial’s findings boldly asserted that this particular amalgamation of drugs and chemoradiation therapy ought to be instituted as the new benchmark for treatment.

Dr. Mary McCormack, the principal investigator of the trial at the University College London Cancer Institute, emphasized the significance of these results, characterizing them as the most substantial enhancement in survival and remission outcomes for this particular disease witnessed in the 21st century.

She then said, “Our trial shows that this short course of additional chemotherapy delivered immediately before the standard CRT can reduce the risk of the cancer returning or death by 35%.”

“This is the biggest improvement in outcome in this disease in over 20 years.”

“The important thing here is that if patients are alive and well, without the cancer recurring at five years, then they are very likely to be cured, so that’s what makes this very exciting,” McCormack added when she spoke to BBC.