Phase I Dose-Escalation Study of Weekly Paclitaxel and Cisplatin Followed by Radical Hysterectomy in Stages IB2 and IIA2 Cervical Cancer

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To define the optimal dose of paclitaxel combining cisplatin, as weekly neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) for early-stage bulky squamous cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix.


A prospective trial was conducted for International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stages IB2 and IIA2 cervical squamous cell carcinoma patients with magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography-defined lymph node negative. Weekly fixed-dose cisplatin (40 mg/m2) and 4-level dose escalation of paclitaxel (50, 60, 70, 80 mg/m2) for 3 courses was given and followed by radical hysterectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection (RH-PLND) 14 to 28 days later. Postoperative adjuvant therapy was tailored according to pathologic response.


No dose-limiting toxicity occurred. Twelve subjects were enrolled without reaching maximum tolerated dose, nor was any RH-PLND procedure delayed for >2 weeks. Pathologic response rate was 50% (complete in 2 and partial in 4). Paclitaxel dose level seemed unrelated to pathologic response. No subjects had grade ≥3 acute adverse events. Seven patients (58.3%) received postoperative radiotherapy or chemoradiation. Patients with human papillomavirus 16-negative tumor and aged 55 years and older had marginally higher risk (100%) of adjuvant radiotherapy or chemoradiation after NAC than those with human papillomavirus 16-positive or age less than 55 (P=0.081). With a median follow-up of 45.5 months, all 12 patients remained alive without disease.


Weekly paclitaxel and cisplatin NAC for 3 courses can be tolerated with excellent short-term outcome. With the caveat of small number of patients, this study supports future phase II trials of weekly paclitaxel and cisplatin NAC for 4 to 5 cycles.

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