• Radiotherapy for small-cell lung cancer-Where are we heading?

      Bayman, Neil A; Sheikh, Hamid Y; Kularatne, B; Lorigan, Paul C; Blackhall, Fiona H; Thatcher, Nick; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2009-03)
      Radiotherapy has an established role in the management of limited-disease small-cell lung cancer. However, essential questions related to the optimisation of thoracic radiotherapy remain unanswered including (i) optimal total dose, (ii) fractionation, (iii) timing and sequencing of radiation, (iv) volume of irradiation, and (v) concurrent chemotherapy combinations. The role of thoracic radiotherapy for extensive-disease small-cell lung cancer is more poorly understood but evidence suggests radiotherapy may have an important role in this setting. This review highlights the need for well-designed multi-national trials aimed at the optimisation and standardisation of radiotherapy for SCLC.
    • Radiotherapy for the treatment of longstanding head and neck hemangioma.

      Douglas, Catriona Mairi; Ho, Kean F; Homer, Jarrod J; Slevin, Nicholas J; Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. Catriona.douglas@christie.nhs.uk (2009-08)
    • Randomised phase II trial of 4 dose levels of single agent docetaxel in performance status (PS) 2 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): DOC PS2 trial. Manchester lung cancer group.

      Califano, Raffaele; Griffiths, Richard W; Lorigan, Paul C; Ashcroft, Linda; Taylor, Paul; Burt, Paul A; Lee, Lip W; Chittalia, Abbas; Harris, Maggie A; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; et al. (2011-09)
      The role of chemotherapy for advanced NSCLC patients and ECOG PS2 remains controversial. We evaluated 4 doses of 3-weekly docetaxel to identify a less toxic, clinically effective dose.
    • Rechallenging with anthracyclines and taxanes in metastatic breast cancer.

      Palmieri, C; Krell, J; James, C R; Harper-Wynne, C; Misra, Vivek; Cleator, S; Miles, D; Cancer Research UK Laboratories, Department of Oncology, MRC Cyclotron Building, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Du Cane Road, London W12 ONN, UK. c.palmieri@imperial.ac.uk (2010-10)
      Adjuvant use of anthracycline-taxane combination therapy is an accepted strategy in the management of high-risk early-stage breast cancer. However, the introduction of this regimen raises the question of how best to manage those patients who relapse following adjuvant therapy, and whether there is a role for rechallenging in the metastatic setting with the same agent, or class of agent, that has been utilized in the adjuvant setting. This Review examines the evidence for rechallenging with both anthracyclines and taxanes, and highlights the issues that need to be examined in the context of future clinical trials.
    • Reciprocal relationship between expression of hypoxia inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) and the pro-apoptotic protein bid in ex vivo colorectal cancer.

      Seenath, M M; Roberts, Darren L; Cawthorne, Christopher; Saunders, Mark P; Armstrong, G; O'Dwyer, Sarah T; Stratford, Ian J; Dive, Caroline; Renehan, Andrew G; Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Paterson Institute of Cancer Research, Manchester, UK. (2008-08-05)
      Hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) represses the transcription of pro-apoptotic bid in colorectal cancer cells in vitro. To assess the clinical relevance of this observation, HIF-1alpha and Bid were assessed in serial sections of 39 human colorectal adenocarcinomas by immunohistochemistry. In high HIF-1alpha nuclear-positive cell subpopulations, there was a significant reduction in Bid expression (ANOVA, P=0.04). Given the role of Bid in drug-induced apoptosis, these data add impetus to strategies targeting HIF-1 for therapeutic gain.
    • Rectal motion can reduce CTV coverage and increase rectal dose during prostate radiotherapy: A daily cone-beam CT study.

      Sripadam, Raj; Stratford, Julia; Henry, Ann M; Jackson, Andrew; Moore, Christopher J; Price, Patricia M; Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, Bebington, Wirral, UK. (2009-03)
      BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Daily on-treatment verification cone-beam CT (CBCT) was used to study the effect of rectal motion on clinical target volume (CTV) coverage during prostate radiotherapy. MATERIAL AND METHODS: CBCT scans were acquired from 15 patients immediately after daily treatment. From these images, the rectum was contoured allowing the analysis of rectal volume cross-sectional area (CSA) and the determination of rectal dose. Rectal wall motion was quantified as a surrogate measure of prostate displacement and CTV coverage was subjectively assessed. RESULTS: Rectal volume decreased over the treatment course in 13 patients (P<0.001). Rectal wall regions corresponding to the prostate base displayed the greatest motion; larger displacements were seen in patients with larger rectal planning volumes. CTV coverage was inadequate, at the prostate base only, in 38% of the fractions delivered to 4/7 patients with a large rectum at planning (>100 cm(3)). In patients with small rectum at planning (<50 cm(3)) up to 25% more rectal volume than predicted was included in the high-dose region. CONCLUSIONS: Rectal motion during treatment in prostate cancer patients has implications for CTV coverage and rectal dose. Measures to ensure consistency in daily rectal volume or image-guided strategies should be considered.
    • Report on the early efficacy and tolerability of I(125) permanent prostate brachytherapy from a UK multi-institutional database.

      Mitchell, Darren M; Mandall, Paula; Bottomley, David; Hoskin, Peter J; Logue, John P; Ash, D; Ostler, P; Elliott, Tony; Henry, Ann M; Wylie, James P; et al. (2008-12)
      AIMS: To report the results of I(125) prostate brachytherapy from a central, prospectively collected database of three UK institutions. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All patients treated with I(125) permanent prostate brachytherapy at the Christie Hospital, Manchester (CHM), Cookridge Hospital, Leeds (CKL) and Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, London (MVL) since 2003 have been prospectively registered on a detailed central database. Patient, tumour, pre- and post-implant dosimetry data have been recorded. Urinary toxicity as assessed by the International Prostate Symptom Score, catheterisation and urinary stricture rates after implant have been documented and biochemical failure determined, using both the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) consensus and the Phoenix (nadir + 2 ng/ml) definition. RESULTS: In total, 1535 patients were registered on the database between January 2003 and October 2006, including 432 from CHM, 926 from CKL and 177 from MVL, with a median follow-up of 21 months (range 1-56). Patient and tumour characteristics were similar at all centres. Pre-implant dose indices were comparable between centres, except for the V150, with median values of 51.9, 64.3 and 69.8% at CHM, CKL and MVL, respectively. Median post-implant dose parameters were lower than pre-planned constraints by up to 33.0% at each centre for all values, except at CKL where the V200 was 23.9% higher. The International Prostate Symptom Score increased from a median of 5 at baseline to 18, 6 weeks after implant, but was not significantly different to baseline values by 12 months. Nine per cent of men required catheterisation after implant for a median duration of 53 days, but urinary stricture rates remained low at 1%. Neoadjuvant hormonal manipulation was used in 228 men (15%) for downsizing and 159 (10%) for intermediate/high-risk disease. Collated biochemical failure rates were low at this point of follow-up, with actuarial 2-year ASTRO and Phoenix biochemical failure-free survival rates of 94.4 and 94.5%, respectively, consistent with other large single centre reports. When post-implant dosimetric factors were assessed for a relationship to biochemical failure, no indices consistently predicted for improved ASTRO and Phoenix biochemical failure-free survival rates. CONCLUSIONS: This ongoing collaboration shows that with limited infrastructure (a single industry-sponsored data manager), a large multi-institutional database estimated to represent one-third of implants carried out in the UK during this time can be developed. Patient selection was similar across all centres and adhered to published guidelines. Early biochemical and toxicity outcomes confirm the efficacy and tolerability of I(125) prostate brachytherapy in a large cohort of patients. A further analysis is planned.
    • A retrospective analysis of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) with yttrium-90 microspheres in patients with unresectable hepatic malignancies.

      Omed, A; Lawrance, Jeremy A L; Murphy, G; Laasch, Hans-Ulrich; Wilson, G; Illidge, Timothy M; Tipping, Jill; Zivanovic, M; Jeans, S; Manchester Medical School, University of Manchester, Stopford Building, Manchester, UK. aliomed0101@doctors.org.uk (2010-09)
      AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis was undertaken of all patients who underwent SIRT at a single institution. Diagnostic and therapeutic angiograms, computed tomography (CT) images, positron-emission tomography (PET) images, and planar isotope images were analysed. The response to SIRT was analysed using radiological data and tumour markers. Overall survival, complications, and side effects of SIRT were also analysed. RESULTS: The initial 12 patients were included on an intention-to-treat basis, between 21/09/2005 and 07/05/2008. All patients had advanced disease and multiple prior courses of chemotherapy. One patient did not receive yttrium-90 due to complex vascular anatomy; the remaining 11 patients underwent 13 SIRT treatment episodes following work-up angiography. A response was seen using PET in 80% of patients. Using CT, the response of the tumour to therapy in the treated hepatic segments demonstrated a 20% partial response, stable disease in 50%, and progressive disease in 30%. Estimated median survival was 229 days, with 64% of patients still alive at the time of writing. No major complications were observed, although 82% of patients experienced side-effects following SIRT, mainly nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. CONCLUSIONS: There have been no complications in the 12 SIRT patients. Tumour response was seen in four out of five patients who underwent PET. Objective CT response rates were mixed and are perhaps partially explained by advanced disease and limitations of using measurements to assess response. This complex and potentially hazardous service has been successfully and safely established.
    • The role of positron emission tomography in management of small cell lung cancer.

      Thomson, David J; Hulse, Paul; Lorigan, Paul C; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Department of Clinical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2011-08)
      Accurate radiological staging of small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is of paramount importance in selection of individual patients with limited stage disease for potentially curative treatment while avoiding toxic treatment in those with distant metastatic disease. [(18)F] flurodeoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is an attractive tool for this purpose but there is limited evidence to support its use in the routine staging of SCLC. Whether therapeutic decisions based on FDG-PET imaging should be made remains uncertain. There is only preliminary evidence for use of FDG-PET as a prognostic biomarker, in the assessment of response to treatment and delineation of disease in conformal radiation planning.
    • The role of UFT in metastatic colorectal cancer.

      Bennouna, Jaafar; Saunders, Mark P; Douillard, Jean-Yves; Centre R Gauducheau, St Herblain, France. j-bennouna@nantes.fnclcc.fr (2009)
      5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) has been the most widely used chemotherapeutic agent for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) and 5-FU combination therapy improves efficacy compared with monotherapy. The oral fluoropyrimidine UFT (tegafur-uracil) with leucovorin (LV) improves tolerability and has replaced 5-FU in many regimens. The efficacy and tolerability of UFT with LV in the first-line treatment of mCRC has been demonstrated in a number of phase II studies. In two phase III studies, UFT with LV has been shown to have comparable efficacy and improved tolerability versus intravenous bolus 5-FU, with very few cases of hand-foot syndrome (HFS). Indirect comparisons of UFT and capecitabine suggest that they are comparable in terms of survival. In first-line treatment, UFT in combination with oxaliplatin (TEGAFOX) or irinotecan (TEGAFIRI) is effective and well tolerated, with similar efficacy and tolerability to the corresponding 5-FU- and capecitabine-based combinations, but with a lower incidence of HFS. Alternating cycles of TEGAFOX and TEGAFIRI are effective and well tolerated, and the combination of TEGAFIRI and the targeted monoclonal antibody cetuximab has shown promising activity, similar to that of FOLFIRI plus cetuximab. UFT can be considered a rational replacement for intravenous 5-FU in the first- and second-line treatment of patients with mCRC.
    • SCOTCERV: a phase II trial of docetaxel and gemcitabine as second line chemotherapy in cervical cancer.

      Symonds, R P; Davidson, Susan E; Chan, S; Reed, N S; McMahon, T; Rai, D; Harden, S; Paul, J; University of Leicester, Department of Cancer Studies & Molecular Medicine, Leicester, UK. (2011-10)
      The aim of the study was to determine the response rate and response duration of cervical cancer previously treated by cisplatin (with or without radiation) to a combination of docetaxel and gemcitabine. Secondary endpoints were assessment of toxicity and quality of life (QoL) of patients receiving the treatment.
    • Spontaneous regression of pulmonary metastases from breast angiosarcoma.

      Kim, Su Woon; Wylie, James P; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Wilmslow Road, Withington, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2008)
      Spontaneous regression of cancer is a rare phenomenon. We present a rare case of pulmonary metastases in a 72-year-old woman with metastatic breast angiosarcoma. She was diagnosed with a breast angiosarcoma in 2005 and underwent a total mastectomy and postoperative radiotherapy. Unfortunately, a year later she was found to have multiple lung and scalp metastases but in a view of her poor general fitness, she was not a candidate for chemotherapy and was kept on regular followup. Despite the absence of any treatment, the followup chest X-ray showed a significant reduction in the number and size of lung nodules and her scalp lesions regressed completely. Seven months after the diagnosis of metastatic disease, the nodules in her scalp remain controlled.
    • Standard-dose versus higher-dose prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) in patients with limited-stage small-cell lung cancer in complete remission after chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy (PCI 99-01, EORTC 22003-08004, RTOG 0212, and IFCT 99-01): a randomised clinical trial.

      Le Péchoux, Cécile; Dunant, Ariane; Senan, Suresh; Wolfson, Aaron; Quoix, Elisabeth; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Ciuleanu, Tudor; Arriagada, Rodrigo; Jones, Richard C; Wanders, Rinus; et al. (2009-05)
      BACKGROUND: The optimum dose of prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI) for limited-stage small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is unknown. A meta-analysis suggested that the incidence of brain metastases might be reduced with higher PCI doses. This randomised clinical trial compared the effect of standard versus higher PCI doses on the incidence of brain metastases. METHODS: Between September, 1999, and December, 2005, 720 patients with limited-stage SCLC in complete remission after chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy from 157 centres in 22 countries were randomly assigned to a standard (n=360, 25 Gy in 10 daily fractions of 2.5 Gy) or higher PCI total dose (n=360, 36 Gy) delivered using either conventional (18 daily fractions of 2 Gy) or accelerated hyperfractionated (24 fractions in 16 days with two daily sessions of 1.5 Gy separated by a minimum interval of 6 h) radiotherapy. All of the treatment schedules excluded weekends. Randomisation was stratified according to medical centre, age (60 years), and interval between the start of induction treatment and the date of randomisation (180 days). Eligible patients were randomised blindly by the data centre of the Institut Gustave Roussy (PCI99-01 and IFCT) using minimisation, and by the data centres of EORTC (EORTC ROG and LG) and RTOG (for CALGB, ECOG, RTOG, and SWOG), both using block stratification. The primary endpoint was the incidence of brain metastases at 2 years. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00005062. FINDINGS: Five patients in the standard-dose group and four in the higher-dose group did not receive PCI; nonetheless, all randomised patients were included in the effectiveness anlysis. After a median follow-up of 39 months (range 0-89 months), 145 patients had brain metastases; 82 in the standard-dose group and 63 in the higher-dose group. There was no significant difference in the 2-year incidence of brain metastases between the standard PCI dose group and the higher-dose group, at 29% (95% CI 24-35) and 23% (18-29), respectively (hazard ratio [HR] 0.80 [95% CI 0.57-1.11], p=0.18). 226 patients in the standard-dose group and 252 in the higher-dose group died; 2-year overall survival was 42% (95% CI 37-48) in the standard-dose group and 37% (32-42) in the higher-dose group (HR 1.20 [1.00-1.44]; p=0.05). The lower overall survival in the higher-dose group is probably due to increased cancer-related mortality: 189 patients in the standard group versus 218 in the higher-dose group died of progressive disease. Five serious adverse events occurred in the standard-dose group versus zero in the higher-dose group. The most common acute toxic events were fatigue (106 [30%] patients in the standard-dose group vs 121 [34%] in the higher-dose group), headache (85 [24%] vs 99 [28%]), and nausea or vomiting (80 [23%] vs 101 [28%]). INTERPRETATION: No significant reduction in the total incidence of brain metastases was observed after higher-dose PCI, but there was a significant increase in mortality. PCI at 25 Gy should remain the standard of care in limited-stage SCLC. FUNDING: Institut Gustave-Roussy, Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (2001), Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique (2007). The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) contribution to this trial was supported by grants 5U10 CA11488-30 through 5U10 CA011488-38 from the US National Cancer Institute.
    • Suboptimal use of intravenous contrast during radiotherapy planning in the UK.

      Kim, Su Woon; Russell, Wanda; Price, Patricia M; Saleem, Azeem; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. (2008-12)
      We aimed to evaluate the use of intravenous (IV) contrast during acquisition of radiotherapy planning (RTP) scans and to compare current usage with the Royal College of Radiologists' (RCR) recommendations. Questionnaires were circulated via the Academic Clinical Oncology and Radiobiology Research Network (ACORRN) website, email and post to 60 UK radiotherapy centre managers. Questions were asked regarding the (i) tumour sites where IV contrast was used, (ii) person administering the contrast, (iii) availability of dynamic pump, (iv) tumour sites that centres wished to use contrast, (v) reasons for not using contrast and (vi) awareness of RCR recommendations. 50 (83%) centres responded to the questionnaire, of which 27 responded via the ACCORN website and 18 by e-mail. Despite 38 out of 50 responding centres using IV contrast, and accessibility to dynamic pumps existing in 39 centres, IV contrast usage was suboptimal, with more than half of the centres (27/50; 54%) wishing to use it at more tumour sites. IV contrast was most often used during RTP of the brain, with suboptimal usage in lung tumours. None of the 50 centres administered IV contrast during RTP scan acquisition in all of the 8 RCR recommended tumour sites. Radiographers were mainly responsible for contrast administration, and a lack of staff was cited as the main reason for suboptimal contrast usage. Disappointingly, only 35 of the 50 radiotherapy managers (70%) were aware of the RCR recommendations. Redress of the underlying reasons for suboptimal IV contrast administration during RTP, including acquisition of the necessary skill mix by staff and implementation of RCR recommendations, would help standardize UK practice.
    • Symptom experience in patients with primary brain tumours: a longitudinal exploratory study.

      Molassiotis, Alexander; Wilson, Barbara; Brunton, Lisa; Chaudhary, Haseeb; Gattamaneni, Rao; McBain, Catherine A; University of Manchester, School of Nursing, University Place, Manchester M13 9PL, UK. alex.molassiotis@manchester.ac.uk (2010-12)
      This study was undertaken to further understand the symptom experience and the impact of symptoms in daily life in people treated for brain tumours.
    • Synchronous chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck using capecitabine: a single-centre, open-label, single-group phase II study.

      Jegannathen, Apurna; Mais, Kathleen L; Sykes, Andrew J; Lee, Lip W; Yap, Beng K; Birzgalis, Andrew R; Homer, Jarrod J; Ryder, W David J; Slevin, Nicholas J; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK. (2011-03)
      To evaluate the efficacy of concurrent oral capecitabine with accelerated hypofractionated radical radiotherapy in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).
    • A systematic review of honey uses and its potential value within oncology care.

      Bardy, Joy; Slevin, Nicholas J; Mais, Kathleen L; Molassiotis, Alexander; School of Nursing, Social Work and Midwifery, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. (2008-10)
      AIM: To synthesise the evidence regarding honey's role in health care and to identify whether this evidence applies more specifically to cancer care. DESIGN: Systematic review. METHODS: The inclusion and exclusion criteria were agreed by two reviewers and a keyword strategy was developed. EMBASE, CINAHL, AMED, MEDLINE, COCHRANE and PUBMED databases were screened to identify suitable articles. The citation list from each included study was also screened for potentially suitable papers. The key findings from each study were entered onto a data extraction sheet. RESULTS: In total, 43 studies were included in the systematic review, which included studies in relation to wounds (n = 19), burns (n = 11), skin (n = 3), cancer (n = 5) and others (n = 5). In addition, a systematic review regarding honey use in wound care was also included. While the majority of studies noted the efficacy of honey in clinical use, five studies found honey to be equally as effective as the comparator and three found honey to be less effective than the comparator treatment. Other research did not illustrate any significant difference between standard treatment regimes vs. honey treatment. Studies were generally poor in quality because of small sample sizes, lack of randomisation and absence of blinding. CONCLUSIONS: Honey was found to be a suitable alternative for wound healing, burns and various skin conditions and to potentially have a role within cancer care. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: In the cancer setting, honey may be used for radiation-induced mucositis, radiotherapy-induced skin reactions, hand and foot skin reactions in chemotherapy patients and for oral cavity and external surgical wounds.
    • Targeted agents in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): Clinical developments and rationale for the combination with thoracic radiotherapy.

      Koh, Pek K; Faivre-Finn, Corinne; Blackhall, Fiona H; De Ruysscher, D; Department of Clinical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2011-12-22)
      In recent years there has been undoubted progress in the evaluation and development of targeted agents for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A major contributor has been the discovery of molecular subtypes harbouring a critical oncogenic driver mutation, specifically sensitizing mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene and the EML4-ALK gene translocation. Radiotherapy is a cornerstone of therapy for the curative intent treatment of early stage, localized disease; and for the palliation of symptoms in advanced, metastatic disease. In this molecular targeted era there is limited understanding of how best to combine targeted agents with radiotherapy and in general clinical studies with radiotherapy have lagged behind studies of targeted agents with chemotherapy. Here we summarise the progress made to date and highlight future directions.
    • Testicular seminoma with mediastinal lymphadenopathy -- a diagnostic pitfall.

      Jegannathen, Apurna; Taylor, Malcolm B; Jones, M; Logue, John P; Departments of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK. (2009-05)
      Relapse following adjuvant paraaortic radiation therapy in patients with Stage I seminoma is rare, occurring in approximately 4% of men. The majority of relapses are sited in the pelvis but relapse in the mediastinum is also recognised. As such, radiological imaging using chest radiographs remains commonplace in follow-up. However, there are reports of the association of testicular cancers with sarcoidosis and sarcoid-like processes in the mediastinum, emphasising the importance of making histological diagnosis prior to commencement of any treatment. We report on two men treated for testicular seminoma who on follow-up developed mediastinal lymphadenopathy, which was initially assumed to be metastatic seminoma. Both patients underwent mediastinascopy and biopsy prior to commencement of anti-cancer therapy. In both cases, the biopsies showed sarcoidosis, and unnecessary anti-cancer treatment was avoided.
    • Treatment for advanced cervical cancer: Impact on quality of life.

      Davidson, Susan E; The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 4BX, UK. (2010-08-30)
      Cisplatin-based combinations can potentially improve response rates in patients with cervical cancer, but unacceptable toxicity must be avoided. Quality of life (QoL) measures are increasingly used to assess the benefits versus limitations of chemotherapy regimens. A MEDLINE search of English language publications from January 2000 to December 2008 was conducted using the search terms: 'quality of life' OR 'QoL' OR 'HRQoL' AND 'cervical cancer'. Abstracts from the Association of Clinical Oncology meeting, 2008, were also searched. Article inclusion was based on abstract content. Several cervical cancer therapies have shown response rate improvements in combination with cisplatin, including topotecan and paclitaxel. However, only topotecan/cisplatin demonstrates a significant overall survival advantage over cisplatin monotherapy, while both topotecan/cisplatin and paclitaxel/cisplatin demonstrate comparable impact on QoL to cisplatin alone. Few trials of combination chemotherapy for cervical cancer have directly assessed QoL. The combination of topotecan/cisplatin significantly increases overall survival rates without reducing patient QoL.