Purpose of review: Patients with cervical cancer represent a vulnerable population with limited chemotherapeutic options. This year, two large trials focusing on detection/screening and treatment of advanced stage cervical cancer were featured in the opening plenary session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. As such, a review of the evolution of chemotherapy in the treatment of this disease is warranted.
Recent findings: Following the establishment of cisplatin as an effective single-agent regimen in patients with advanced stage, recurrent, or persistent cervical cancer, several platinum-containing combinations were studied. Ultimately, the adoption of cisplatin chemosensitizing radiation resulted in relative ‘cisplatin resistance’ and the concept of nonplatinum doublets emerged as an active area of investigation.
Summary: In an era of biologics, combined therapy with cytotoxic drugs and molecular targeted agents, as well as the use of nonplatinum doublets, represent an exciting area yet to be fully explored.