HealthDay News — For women with stage IIIB squamous cervical cancer, cisplatin added to radiotherapy plus high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDRB) is associated with improved disease-free survival, according to researchers.

Antonio C. Zuliani, MD, from Campinas State University in Brazil, and colleagues conducted a randomized clinical trial to compare disease-free and overall survival of 147 women with stage IIIB squamous cervical cancer.

The findings were published at the annual meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, held from Sept. 22 to 25 in Atlanta.

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Participants were randomly assigned to receive cisplatin plus radiotherapy (CHRT; 72 women) or radiotherapy alone (RT; 75 women). Radiotherapy consisted of external-beam radiation to the pelvic region in 25 fractions, 14.4 Gy boost to compromised parametria, and HDRB.

Women in the CHRT group had significantly better disease-free survival (hazard ratio, 0.52). Overall survival was better in the CHRT group, but the difference was not statistically significant (hazard ratio, 0.67; P=0.16).

Grades 1 and 2 acute toxicity were not significantly different between the groups (P=0.29), nor were late toxicity grades 3 and 4 (P=0.29).

“We believe that these results demonstrate that this combined treatment protocol is safe to offer to patients and provides some beneficial improvements — in disease-free survival and toxicity levels,” Zuliani said in a statement.

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