CTC study findings hailed as 'biggest cervical cancer breakthrough in 20 years'
23 October 2023
Trial results presented by researchers from UCL and UCLH have shown a course of treatment with existing drugs prior to chemoradiation led to a 35% reduction in the risk of death or return of cancer. 

Over the course of 10 years, 500 patients took part in the INTERLACE study at hospitals in the UK, Italy, India, Mexico, and Brazil. Those who participated in the study had been diagnosed with cervical cancer, where their tumour was large enough to be seen without a microscope, but had not yet spread to other parts of the body.

The study assessed whether a short course of induction chemotherapy (IC) prior to chemoradiation (CRT) could reduce the rate of relapse and death among these patients. As part of an analysis of clinical data, the preliminary results were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress yesterday.

Dr Mary McCormack, lead investigator of the trial from UCL Cancer Institute and UCLH, said: “Our trial shows that this short course of additional chemotherapy delivered immediately before the standard CRT can reduce the risk of the cancer returning or death by 35%.

“This is the biggest improvement in outcome in this disease in over 20 years. I’m incredibly proud of all the patients who participated in the trial; their contribution has allowed us to gather the evidence needed to improve treatment of cervical cancer patients everywhere. We couldn’t have done this without the generous support of Cancer Research UK.”

More details on the findings can be find on UCL News. The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and the CRUK & UCL Cancer Trials Centre. The CTC also led the research.

The release of the findings has garnered widespread press attention. Selected coverage can be found at the links below:

Press links

Image: Lesion in human cervical epithelium infected with human papilloma virus. Credit: NIMR, Francis Crick Institute. Source: Wellcome Collection

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