This trial was designed to assess if there was a benefit to adding in extra chemotherapy after completion of standard chemoradiation for treatment of cervical cancer. It found that additional chemotherapy after Chemoradiation did not show any benefit and increased side-effects.
Women with cervical cancer who were planned to receive chemoradiation (drug and radiation treatment) were included in this study. This included women with cervical cancer either confined to the cervix, or which had already spread to other parts of the body. Women were randomly assigned to either chemoradiation alone or chemoradiation followed by additional chemotherapy (drug treatment). Women were followed up by the researchers for 5 years to see how long they lived for, if the cancer came back, and if they had significant side effects from treatment.
Over 900 women were included in this study, 456 assigned to chemoradiation alone, and 463 to chemoradiation and additional chemotherapy. There was no significant difference in the rates of survival at 5 years (72% for chemoradiation and chemotherapy, versus 71% for chemoradiation alone).
There was also no significant difference in the rates of the cancer coming back. The rate of significant side-effects was higher in those receiving the additional chemotherapy (81% versus 62%).
Women who received standard chemoradiation lived as long as women who received standard chemoradiation followed by additional chemotherapy. Additional chemotherapy following chemoradiation does not reduce the risk of cancer coming back, but does increase the rates of significant side-effects.