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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 03/02/99
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Best Cervical Cancer Treatment

Cincinnati—For the past 15 years, Nader Husseinzadeh, MD, director of the oncology division of the University of Cincinnati (UC) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and gynecologic oncologist at the Barrett Cancer Center in the University Hospital has taken part in studies that compared different ways of treating cervical cancer. According to a recent announcement from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the findings from these trials and several similar studies may change the way the disease is treated.

In a mailing to thousands of physicians throughout the United States, the NIH's National Cancer Institute (NCI) advises that strong consideration should be given to adding chemotherapy to radiation therapy in the treatment of invasive cervical cancer. Up to now, surgery or radiation therapy alone has been considered the standard treatment for this form of cancer.

The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) study was one of several around the country that showed it was more effective to treat the disease with radiation combined with chemotherapy, including the drug cisplatin. Husseinzadeh, who led the study at UC, said that after three years of following patients who volunteered for the study, a clear benefit exists for the women who received the cisplatin/radiation combination.

At UC and its affiliated institutions, 18 patients were enrolled in the study from 1992 to 1998. Randomly divided into two groups, one group received radiation therapy without chemotherapy and the other group received radiation and chemotherapy. Locally, 89 percent of the women in the cisplatin/radiation group were alive three years after the diagnosis compared to 78 percent of women in the group that received only radiation therapy. Around the country, four other recently completed studies produced similar findings. In all of the studies, patients had cervical cancer that had spread locally within the cervix or regionally within the pelvis. While the chemotherapy regimens differed among the trials, all regimens included the drug cisplatin combined with radiation therapy in at least one group of patients. In all of the trials, that combination was the most beneficial.

The University of Cincinnati study was part of a multi-institutional clinical trial conducted by the GOG. This consortium is one of several NCI-sponsored networks of institutions and physicians across the country that conduct trials jointly using the same protocols.

Husseinzadeh has been named in Woodward and White's Best Doctors in America and is a UC professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the College of Medicine.

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