Two University of Leicester researchers have been working with colleagues across the country on a treatment for advanced cervical cancer which reduces the death rate significantly.
Hailed as the most important advance in the treatment of cervical cancer in 40 years by Patricia Eifel of the M D Anderson Tumor Institute in Houston, Texas, chemoradiotherapy has been shown to reduce the chance of death by 29 per cent for women with cervical cancer whose tumours are too advanced for surgery.
The treatment, available at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, is the result of 19 worldwide trials, conducted between 1981 and 2000, involving 4,580 patients. It works by partially reducing the development of cancer secondaries.
Dr R Paul Symonds, Reader and Consultant Oncologist at the University of Leicester, and Dr Lydia Fresco, Specialist Registrar, are two members of a team of seven from Liverpool, Oxford and London to have carried out the research, which was reported in The Lancet on 8 September 2001.
Dr Symonds said: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer to affect women and the main cause of death in the developing world. Trials over the past three years indicate that a combination of radiotherapy with chemotherapy produced the best results and in 1999 the United States National Cancer Institute advised the use of chemoradiotherapy for all patients with cervical cancer. At that time, however, there was some variation in results which these latest trials have been able to resolve.
Note to editors: Pictures of scans, before and after treatment, are available from the Press Office, University of Leicester. Further information is available from Dr R Paul Symonds, Reader/Consultant Oncologist, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 258 6294, facsimile 0116 258 7599, email email@example.com
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