The addition of whole pelvic radiation (WPR) to chemotherapy may provide an overall survival (OS) benefit for women with stage IVB cervical cancer, according to a retrospective study presented at the 2017 Society for Gynecologic Oncology Annual Meeting.1

The multiinstitutional, retrospective review included data from 127 patients diagnosed with stage IVB cervical cancer between 2005 and 2015. The analysis included the Kaplan-Meier method for OS estimates and descriptive statistics for demographic, oncologic, and treatment factors.

The median age of the cohort was 54; 36% were Caucasian, 35% were Hispanic, and 16% were African American. Most tumors were grade 2 or 3 squamous cell carcinoma. At diagnosis, 20% of patients elected for hospice care with an OS of 2.2 months.

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Of patients who received active treatment, 35% underwent WPR with chemotherapy and 65% were treated with chemotherapy alone. Patients who received WPR experienced a significantly prolonged OS of 22 months compared with 10 months when treated with chemotherapy alone (hazard ratio [HR], 0.30; P < .01).

Complication rates, including ureteral obstruction, vaginal bleeding, pelvic infection, pelvic pain, and fistula, were similar between the groups.

“There was a trend towards less frequent use of WPR with the introduction of bevacizumab. Further study is warranted to determine which subgroups may benefit the most from this novel treatment strategy,” wrote the authors.

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These data indicate that the addition of WPR to chemotherapy may provide a survival benefit, though prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.


  1. Perkins VB, Matsuo K, Mostofizadeh S, et al. Combining whole pelvic radation with chemotherapy in stage IVB cervical cancer: a novel treatment strategy. Paper presented at: 48th Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology; March 12-15, 2017; National Harbor, MD.