Erlotinib plus cisplatin-based chemoradiation promising for cervical cancer

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Promise for Erlotinib + Cisplatin Chemoradiation in Cervical CA
Promise for Erlotinib + Cisplatin Chemoradiation in Cervical CA

(HealthDay News) -- Treatment with epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor erlotinib combined with cisplatin-based chemoradiation seems safe and effective for locally advanced cervical cancer, according to a study published online March 10 in Cancer.

Angelica Nogueira-Rodrigues, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Rio de Janeiro, and colleagues conducted a phase 2 trial of erlotinib combined with cisplatin-based chemoradiation. Women with stage IIB to IIIB epidermoid cervical cancer with no prior therapy and with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 2 were recruited. Treatment comprised 150 mg/day erlotinib for one week before and in combination with cisplatin (40 mg/m² administered weekly for five cycles) and radiotherapy (4,500 centigrays in 25 fractions), followed by brachytherapy (four fractions at a dose of 600 centigrays weekly).

Thirty-six women completed the treatment. The researchers found the median therapy duration to be 77 days and patients were followed for a median of 59.3 months. Most patients (94.4 percent) achieved a complete response and therapy was well tolerated overall. The cumulative overall and progression-free survival rates, respectively, were 91.7 and 80.6 percent at two years and 80 and 73.8 percent at three years.

"To the best of [our] knowledge, this is the first study to date to demonstrate that a target agent has promising activity against locally advanced cervical cancer," the authors write.

Erlotinib was supplied by Roche Pharmaceuticals.

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