Open Access Research article

Analysis of the impact of platinum-based combination chemotherapy in small cell cervical carcinoma: a multicenter retrospective study in Chinese patients

Long Huang1*, Ling-Min Liao2, An-Wen Liu1, Jian-Bing Wu1, Xiao-Ling Cheng3, Jia-Xin Lin4 and Min Zheng4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Oncology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, 1 Minde Road, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China

2 Department of Ultrasound, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, China

3 Department of Medical Imaging, Women And Children Health Institute Futian, Shenzhen, China

4 Department of Gynecology, Cancer Center, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

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BMC Cancer 2014, 14:140  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-140

Published: 27 February 2014



Small cell cervical carcinoma (SCCC) is a rare, aggressive tumor with a poor prognosis. However, information in relation to its treatment is scarce due to the limited numbers of patients. The aim of this study was to establish whether platinum-based combination chemotherapy may by beneficial in this patient population.


We carried out a multicenter, retrospective study comprising of 72 Chinese patients with SCCC. The patients were treated between 1995 and 2010 at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital or the Cancer Center of Sun Yat-Sen University, and at the First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, China.


Of the 72 patients, 46/72 (63.9%) had Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage Ia–Ib2 and 26/72 (36.1%) had stage IIa–IV disease. Surgery was performed in 63/72 (87.5%) patients, 61/72 (84.7%) patients received chemoradiotherapy and 35/72 (48.6%) received radiotherapy. The 3-year overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) rates were as follows: Ia (100%, 100%); Ib1 (62%, 57%); Ib2 (53%, 48%); IIa (36%, 23%); IIb (29%, 21%); IIIb (50%, 50%); and IV (0%, 0%), respectively. The estimated 3-year OS and DFS rates in patients who received platinum-based combination chemotherapy (etoposide + cisplatin [EP], or paclitaxel + cisplatin [TP]) as part of their adjuvant treatment were 64.8% and 63.0%, respectively, compared to 25.2% and 22.0% in those who did not (P = 0.0003; P = 0.0003). Univariate analysis showed that platinum-based combination chemotherapy was associated with improved survival compared to other chemotherapy techniques or no chemotherapy (OS: HR = 0.227; 95% CI, 0.099–0.524; P = 0.001; DFS: HR = 0.210; 95% CI, 0.087–0.506; P = 0.001). Multivariate analysis identified FIGO stage, lymphatic metastasis and platinum-based combination chemotherapy as independent prognostic factors for improved survival in patients with SCCC.


Platinum-based combination chemotherapy (with EP or TP) can improve the 3-year survival outcomes in patients with SCCC. Therefore, it should be considered an important component in a future standardized treatment strategy for SCCC.

Cervical cancer; Small cell carcinoma; Platinum-based combination chemotherapy; Prognosis