Objective: Chemoradiation is the standard therapy for advanced stages of cervical cancer. In developing countries, where 80% of cervical cancers occur, this is not always available. Carbogen breathing and oral nicotinamide (CON) therapy, aimed at overcoming tumor hypoxia, has shown to improve treatment efficacy in some epithelial tumors. This study investigates the effect of CON during (chemo)radiation of advanced stages of cervical cancer on overall survival, local and regional control, and toxicity. Methods: From December 2006 to February 2010, 139 patients with stage IB2 to IVA cervical cancer were nonrandomly assigned to receive radiotherapy (RT) or chemoradiation (CRT) with or without CON. Differences in overall survival, local and regional control after 1 year, and toxicity were assessed in 113 evaluable patients. Thirty-two patients received RT, 16 received CRT, 45 received CON-RT, and 20 received CON-CRT. Results: The CON-RT and RT groups contained significantly more patients with a poor performance status and IIIB and IVA tumors. Despite these differences in baseline characteristics, overall survival and local and regional control at 1 year were not significantly different (P = 0.10 and P = 0.19, respectively). Toxicity scores also did not differ (P = 0.60 and P = 0.73 for acute and late toxicity). Conclusions: Addition of CON to standard (chemo)radiation gives comparable survival and control rates. The effect of CON might be underestimated due to differences in baseline characteristics. Because chemotherapy cannot always be (completely) administered in low-resource settings, CON could be a worthy substitute. The CON treatment is feasible and safe.
- Cervical cancer
- Oxygen modification