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The Correlation Between Tumor Angiogenesis and the Effect of Radiation Therapy in Cervical Cancer Patients

18 Years
85 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Cervical Cancer

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Trial Information

The Correlation Between Tumor Angiogenesis and the Effect of Radiation Therapy in Cervical Cancer Patients

Carcinoma of the uterine cervix is a serious health problem. In Taiwan, cervical cancer is
the most common malignant neoplasm and the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths in women
(after carcinoma of the lung, liver, colorectum and breast). The Department of Health
estimated that in 2000 there were 2,720 new cases of invasive carcinoma of the cervix and
971 deaths from the disease, in addition to more than 3,566 cases of carcinoma in situ (1).

The traditional treatment of invasive cervical cancer has been by surgery or radiotherapy
or, certain situations, a combination of both. Most women with early-stage cervical cancers
can be cured with radical surgery or radiotherapy. Those with a large cervical lesion at
presentation or with spread to the pelvic lymph nodes or other pelvic tissues are usually
treated with a combination of external-beam and intracavitary radiation. (2-6) To eradicate
micrometastases and sensitize tumor cells to radiation, several studies have explored the
use of radiotherapy with concomitant chemotherapy. (7-10) Because patients with cervical
cancer usually present with disease that is clinically confined to the pelvis, locoregional
disease control is the primary challenge for physicians. Treatment with carefully tailored
surgery or radiotherapy has produced impressive cure rates in patients with early-stage
disease. Primary radiotherapy for early-stage disease offers cure rates equivalent to those
with radical hysterectomy. For more locally advanced disease, with spread beyond the uterus
(stage IIB to IVA according to the staging system of the International Federation of
Gynecology and Obstetrics), radiotherapy is the primary modality of treatment. For these
patients, cure rates decrease with advancing stage and tumor bulk. (11) A significant reason
for treatment failure in many patients is the inability to achieve control over the primary
cancer and first-echelon lymph node metastases. (12) Improvement in local control can be
expected to lead to improved cure rates. (13) Simply increasing the dose of RT will increase
local control rates, but it does so at the expense of increased complication rates. (14)
Once cervical cancer has extended beyond the cervix, cure with radical surgery alone is
unlikely. After reports from several randomized clinical trials showing an improvement in
time to progression and survival for patients given chemoradiotherapy compared with
radiotherapy alone. (15-18) the chemoradiotherapy should be considered as standard care for
locally advanced (stage IIB–IVA) or high-risk early-stage cervical cancer.

Radical radiotherapy is effective for patients with locoregionally confined cervical cancer
of any stage. Treatment must be carefully tailored to the patient and to the extent of
disease but usually consists of a combination of external-beam irradiation and
brachytherapy. Overall, reported 5-year survival rates of patients treated with radiation
alone are approximately 75% to 85% for stage IB , 65% to 75% for stage II, 30% to 50% for
stage III, and 10% to 20% for stage IVA disease. Within stage subsets, cure rates are
strongly correlated with the size of the primary tumor and the extent of regional
involvement.(17, 18) For locally advanced disease, a systematic review and meta-analysis of
reports on the use of chemoradiotherapy generally supported the use of chemoradiotherapy
over radiotherapy alone, or neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy. (19)
Chemoradiotherapy showed to improve overall survival by about 30% and reduced the risk of
both local and distant recurrence. Absolute survival benefit was estimated as 12%, though
several studies have reported higher survival benefits.

Angiogenesis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of cancer (20). Recent studies have
related angiogenesis to cancer growth and metastasis(21). The growth of solid tumors and
their metastatic spread is angiogenesis dependent and this has been confirmed in several
experimental and clinical studies (22, 23). Ultrasonography has been used in the gynecologic
field for decades. Our previous studies have shown that incremental angiogenesis could be
demonstrated in the tumorigenesis of ovarian, endometrial malignancies, and cervical caner.
(24-28) Besides, other growth factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and
IL-6 have also been reported to correlate with the angiogenesis and the prognosis of
cervical cancer (29-31), ovarian cancer (32), and endometrial cancer (27, 33). Tumor
angiogenesis of cervical cancer has been proved to be correlated with the disease severity
and prognosis of the cervical cancer patients with early stages (26, 29, 30, 34). It seems
that tumor angiogenesis could be utilized as a good marker to survey the severity of disease
and prognosis of early-staged cervical cancer patients.

However, there is no good method or marker which could be utilized to monitor the response
of radiotherapy and evaluate the prognosis of cervical cancer patients with advanced stages.
So we would like to propose this proposal to focus on the tumor angiogenesis in cervical
cancer patients with advanced stages. Cervical cancer patients who will receive radiotherapy
or concurrent chemoradiotherapy will be enrolled in this study. Transvaginal sonography and
angiogenesis-related growth factors will be evaluated to monitor and response of treatment
in each patient. There are several purposes in this study. First, we will evaluate the
kinetic changes of tumor angiogenesis in cervical cancer patients who receive radiotherapy
or concurrent chemoradiotherapy. Second, we will evaluate that if the tumor angiogenesis
could be a marker to monitor the response of radiotherapy or concurrent chemoradiotherapy in
cervical cancer patients. The relation between tumor angiogenesis and radiotherapy will be
explored and clarified by this study. The comprehensive role of tumor angiogenesis in
cervical cancer will be elucidated by the results of this study.

Inclusion Criteria:

- cervical cancer patients receiving radiotherapy or chemo-radiotherapy

Exclusion Criteria:


Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Defined Population, Primary Purpose: Screening, Time Perspective: Longitudinal, Time Perspective: Prospective

Principal Investigator

Chao-Yuan Huang, M.D.

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

National Taiwan University Hospital


Taiwan: Department of Health

Study ID:




Start Date:

June 2004

Completion Date:

June 2009

Related Keywords:

  • Cervical Cancer
  • cervical cancer, chemoradiotherapy, angiogenesis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms