Purpose: To evaluate the anti-tumor activity and adverse events of capecitabine in advanced, persistent or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix, and to explore biomarkers with the potential to predict capecitabine response and toxicity. Experimental design: Eligible, consenting patients were treated with a starting dose of 2500 mg/m2/day or 1800 mg/m2/day (divided into two doses given every 12 h) for 14 days of each 21-day cycle. Prior chemotherapy was allowed only in the context of radiation "sensitization". Genotyping in the 5′ and 3′ ends of thymidylate synthase (TS) was performed in DNA from pretreatment blood. Relative gene expression of TS, dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) and thymidine phosphorylase (TP) was quantified in RNA extracted from paraffin-embedded tumor. Results: All patients had prior radiotherapy and 22 received a radiation sensitizer. A partial response was observed in 4 of 26 (15%) evaluable patients. An additional 35% of patients achieved stable disease while 42% experienced increasing disease. The most common serious non-hematological toxicities were gastrointestinal and dermatologic. Exploratory analyses suggested that: a germline polymorphism in the 3′ or the 5′ end of TS was not associated with TS gene expression, relative tumor expression of TS, DPD and TP were not correlated, and relative tumor expression of TP may predict severe anemia. Conclusions: Based on the modest response rate, this trial was closed without a second stage of accrual; single agent capecitabine was not selected for further study in advanced persistent or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix previously treated with radiation or chemoradiation.
- Cervical cancer