Review Article

Concurrent chemoradiotherapy for cervical cancer: background including evidence-based data, pitfalls of the data, limitation of treatment in certain groups

Yukiharu Todo, Hidemichi Watari


Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) is regarded as the standard treatment for locally advanced uterine cervical cancer (LACC), including stage Ib2-IVa disease [International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging]. However, approximately a third of eligible patients in previous studies died of LACC despite receiving CCRT. The therapeutic significance of CCRT alone in stage III-IVa disease has not yet been confirmed. Effective treatment of some LACC is beyond the scope of CCRT. The objective of the present review is to highlight some challenging work aimed at overcoming this seemingly intractable disease. CCRT with increased peak concentrations of cisplatin (CDDP), surgery following CCRT, adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) following CCRT, and neoadjuvant CT followed by CCRT are strategies expected to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of CCRT. If patients with LACC were divided into those with low-risk or high-risk systemic disease or prognoses, novel strategies should be assessed in the group with high-risk disease.