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Long-Term Toxicity and Quality of Life in Patients Treated for Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer

Gargiulo P, Arenare L, Pisano C, et al.

Oncology. 2015 Oct 17



The aim of this study was to analyze the long-term toxicity and quality of life (QOL) in patients with locally advanced cervical cancer (LACC) treated with chemoradiation [chemotherapy/radiotherapy (CT/RT)] or neoadjuvant CT (NACT) followed by radical surgery (RS).


Fifty-nine patients with LACC in remission after treatment with NACT + RS (n = 34) or CT/RT (n = 25) were interviewed with an Incontinence Impact Questionnaire (IIQ-7), a Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30), and a Quality of Life Questionnaire for Cervical Cancer (EORTC QLQ-CX24) to compare long-term toxicity and QOL.


The mean age was 53 ± 9.8 and 59 ± 11.5 years in the NACT + RS and CT/RT groups, respectively. Overall, diarrhea and constipation were reported in 15 and 68%, respectively, while bladder complaints and a low level of sexual enjoyment were reported in 36 and 47%, respectively. The NACT + RS patients showed a worse sexual activity (74.71 ± 33.57 vs. 92.06 ± 17.96; p = 0.019) and sexual enjoyment (71.21 ± 23.67 vs. 88.88 ± 21.71; p = 0.040) and more frequently complained of constipation (49.01 ± 34.06 vs. 26.66 ± 31.66; p = 0.013), while CT/RT patients more frequently suffered from diarrhea (1.96 ± 7.96 vs. 14.66 ± 28.40; p = 0.017).


Many patients treated for LACC have long-term complaints regarding sexual activity and bladder and bowel function. The majority of QOL aspects were similar in the two groups at long-term follow-up. However, diarrhea was more frequent and severe in CT/RT patients, while constipation was more frequent and severe in NACT + RS patients, and they showed a worse sexual life perception. Larger randomized trials addressing these issues are needed.

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