Advancing the Treatment of Cervical and Endometrial Cancers

In season 2, episode 6 of Targeted Talks, Alexander B. Olawaiye, MD leads a discussion with Haider S. Mahdi, MD, about the modern approaches to treating cervical and endometrial cancers.

In season 2, episode 6 of Targeted Talks, Alexander B. Olawaiye, MD, associate professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center (UPMC), lead a discussion with Haider S. Mahdi, MD, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Women’s Hospital of UPMC about the modern approaches to treating cervical and endometrial cancers.

For cervical cancer, clinicians currently are faced with deciding upon radical surgery or chemoradiation for patients up to stage 1b. The ultimate goal for these patients is to focus on 1 modality because research has shown that patients who received both surgery and chemoradiation have greater complications later on. Patients who recur or present with stage IVB disease are typically treated with systemic therapy, and with these therapies, outcomes depend on the individual disease characteristics. Data around the benefits of bevacizumab (Avastin) for this patient population show potential for its use in the future.

Endometrial cancer is often diagnosed in the early stages due to its symptomatic nature. Because of this, endometrial cancer has high rates of remission. The current challenge oncologists face with treating the disease is when patients are diagnosed in the advanced stages. This is especially true for those with recurrent disease as few treatment options are available for these patients.

To push the field forward, both Olawaiye and Mahdi stress the importance of women have gynecologic symptoms checked out and being screened for cervical and endometrial cancers. Further, the use of biomarkers to determine with patients may benefit from immunotherapy is important for the future of treating cervical and endometrial cancers.