Combining cisplatin with radiotherapy can cut the likelihood of a woman dying from cervical cancer by 23%, new UK research has shown.
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The medication is commonly used in chemotherapy and can treat cervix, bowel, head, neck and lung cancers.
The findings are the first to show the rate of reducing death risk over a longer period, although it has long been known that the combination of treatments can cure cervical cancer, scientists at the University of Leicester said.
Cisplatin, which contains platinum, attacks the DNA of cancer cells.
Study leader Paul Symonds, who works at the university’s cancer and molecular medicine department, said the research results constitute an advance in the field.
he responses of patients who were given only radiotherapy were compared with the effects of combining the treatment with cisplatin.
Around 1,000 women’s case studies from 42 UK cancer centres were collected in 2001-02. For the following five years the combinations tests were carried out.
Dr Symonds said his research showed a significant fall in the risk of death when the treatments were combined.
The Clinical Oncology journal published the findings of the study which was backed by the Medical Research Council.