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The addition of cisplatin to radiotherapy treatment of cervical cancer reduces the likelihood of death by 23% compared with radiotherapy alone, according to a study led by Paul Symonds, MD, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leiccster in the United Kingdom.

The study is based on the case histories of 1412 patients from 42 cancer-treatment centers collected in 2001-2002 as part of an audit that Dr. Symonds led for the Royal College of Radiologists.

Cisplatin directly affects the DNA strands within cells to cause apoptosis. Although it was already known that the combination of cisplatin and radiotherapy was more effective than radiotherapy alone, there were no good data on the long-term effects of the combined treatment, researchers note.

Assessing long-term survival rates among patients who had completed this treatment showed a marked improvement in the 5-year survival of locally advanced cervical cancer patients compared with the last United Kingdom audit of patients treated in 1993.Thc results are compatible with the best international practice, Dr. Symonds notes.