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The addition of a chemotherapy drug to radiotherapy improves survival for patients with locally advanced cervical cancer compared to treatment with radiotherapy alone, according to a study published in Clinical Oncology (2010;22[7]:590).

According to background information provided by the authors, a combination of radiotherapy and cisplatin have already been shown to be more effective than radiotherapy alone for the treatment of cervical cancer. However, data on the long-term effects have not been available. 

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Paul Symonds, MD, from the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine at the University of Leicester, and colleagues conducted the study to explore the long-term effects of cisplatin, a well-known platinum-based chemotherapy drug, in addition to radiotherapy for the treatment of cervical cancer. 

Using an audit led by Dr. Symonds, the research team studied the case histories of 1,412 patients from 42 different cancer treatment centers to obtain information on treatment type and recurrence rates over a 5-year period. Then, statistical analysis was used to eliminate variable factors in comparing radiotherapy with the dual treatment. 

Researchers discovered that survival was significantly better for patients receiving chemoradiotherapy compared with those receiving radiotherapy alone. Specifically, the addition of cisplatin to radiotherapy treatment of cervical cancer reduced the likelihood of death by 23%.

“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,” Dr. Symonds commented. “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,” he concluded.

Zoledronic acid (Zometa) is more effective than clodronate at treating patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma and significantly improves survival in these patients, according to a study presented at the 2010 ASCO annual meeting.

The study, presented by Gareth Morgan, MD, of The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey, United Kingdom, evaluated the effect of zoledronic acid compared to clodronate plus antimyeloma therapy on skeletal-related events in 1,960 patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma. ONA