Definitive pelvic radiotherapy for patients with newly diagnosed stage IVB cervical cancer: A systematic review

David Viveros-Carreño, Santiago Vieira-Serna, Carlos Fernando Grillo - Ardila, Juliana Rodriguez, Nathalia Mora-Soto, Anuja Jhingran, Pedro T. Ramirez, Rene Pareja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this systematic review was to assess the oncologic outcomes of patients with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 2018 stage IVB cervical cancer receiving definitive pelvic radiotherapy compared with systemic chemotherapy (with or without palliative pelvic radiotherapy).

METHODS: This study was registered in PROSPERO (registration number CRD42022333433). A systematic literature review was conducted following the MOOSE checklist. MEDLINE (through Ovid), Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched from inception until August 2022. The inclusion criteria were patients with metastatic FIGO 2018 stage IVB cervical cancer, a histologic subtype of squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, or adenosquamous carcinoma that received definitive pelvic radiotherapy (≥45 Gy) as part of management compared with systemic chemotherapy with or without palliative (30 Gy) pelvic radiotherapy. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies with two arms of comparison were considered.

RESULTS: The search identified 4653 articles; 26 studies were considered potentially eligible after removing duplicates, and 8 met the selection criteria. In total, 2424 patients were included. There were 1357 and 1067 patients in the definitive radiotherapy and chemotherapy groups, respectively. All included studies were retrospective cohort studies, and two were database population studies. The median overall survival reported in seven studies for the definitive radiotherapy arm versus systemic chemotherapy groups were 63.7 months versus 18.4 months (p<0.01), 14 months versus 16 months (p value not reported), 17.6 months versus 10.6 months (p<0.01), 32 months versus 24 months (p<0.01), 17.3 months versus 10 months (p<0.01), and 41.6 months versus 17.6 months (p<0.01), and not reached versus 19 months (p=0.13) respectively, favoring the groups that received definitive pelvic radiotherapy. The high clinical heterogeneity precluded the performance of meta-analysis, and all studies were at serious risk of bias.

CONCLUSIONS: Definitive pelvic radiotherapy as part of treatment in patients with stage IVB cervical cancer may improve oncologic outcomes compared with systemic chemotherapy (with or without palliative radiotherapy); however, this is based on low-quality data. Prospective evaluation would be ideal before the adoption of this intervention in standard clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1062
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 2023


  • Cervical Cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Pelvis/pathology
  • Humans
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/pathology
  • Female
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/radiotherapy
  • Retrospective Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Oncology


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