OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the rates of response, operability and long term survival and toxicities in a large series of locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) patients administered neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) with paclitaxel, epirubicin and cisplatin (TEP) followed by radical surgery (RS). Patients and methods The study included 75 consecutive stages IB2-IVA patients administered NACT with paclitaxel (175mg/m(2)), epirubicin (100mg/m(2)) and cisplatin (100mg/m(2)) on day 1 of a 3-weekly cycle for 2-4cycles. Patients were evaluated for objective response by RECIST criteria and triaged to RS. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated from the date of diagnosis to recurrence/progression of disease or death, respectively.
RESULTS: Complete and partial clinical response was observed in 13 and 28 patients (56.1% objective responses); radical surgery was amenable in 52 patients (71.2%): 14 patients showed complete/microscopic response to treatment. Overall, recurrence/progression of disease was observed in 36 patients, and all of them experienced death of disease. In the whole series median PFS was 48months (5-year PFS=51.0%), and median OS was 72months (5-year OS=53.0%). Overall, 195 courses were administered; treatment was delayed in 6.7% of patients, while dose reduction was required in 36.5% of patients. Grade 3 leukopenia affected 22 patients (29.7%), while Grades 3 and 4 neutropenia was documented in 17 (22.9%) and 6 (8.1%) patients. In the whole series, we recorded 1 death whose relation with treatment-induced toxicity could not be ruled out.
CONCLUSIONS: TEP provided favorable rates of response and operability in LACC patients, and allowed the obtainment of encouraging survival data without carrying out an excessive toxicity.