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Chemotherapy for cervical cancer involves the use of powerful drugs that target and destroy rapidly dividing cancer cells. In order to reach cancerous cells that have spread from the cervix, chemo is often given systemically. This means that the chemotherapy drugs are injected into a vein or taken by mouth so that they can enter into and travel through the bloodstream to reach various areas throughout a patient’s body. Chemo is usually given in cycles that span several weeks, with each session followed by a recovery period to allow a patient’s body time to recuperate from any side effects of treatment.

The chemotherapy drugs that are most often used for treating cervical cancer include:

  • Cisplatin
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Topotecan
  • Gemcitabine
  • Docetaxel
  • Ifosfamide
  • 5-fluorouracil
  • Irinotecan
  • Mitomycin

For some stages of cervical cancer, the preferred treatment approach may be a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy (chemoradiation). Certain chemo drugs, such as cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil, have been found to enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy. Chemo may also be used to treat cervical cancers that have spread to other organs and tissues, or if cervical cancer recurs following chemoradiation treatment.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we take a unique approach to cervical cancer treatment that allows our oncologists to select the chemo drug – or combination of drugs – that offers the most promise for each patient. Our multispecialty tumor board reviews each patient’s progress on a weekly basis and recommends changes to a patient’s chemotherapy plan as necessary. We also offer a full range of supportive care services to help our patients manage any side effects of treatment.

Chemotherapy for cervical cancer is available at all Moffitt locations. If you’d like to learn more, we provide consultations with or without referrals. Call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.