Cervical cancer ranks as the second most common feminine malignant tumor and the second leading cause of death among female cancers worldwide. Nearly 99% of cervical cancer cases are linked to HPV infection, making it largely preventable through HPV vaccination. Despite this, there were 604,127 new global cases and 341,831 deaths in 2020.
Localized cervical cancer, which accounts for about 43% of all cases, has a five-year relative survival rate of 91.2%. However, locally advanced and distant metastatic cervical cancer have poorer prognostic outcomes. Locally advanced cervical cancer makes up 36% of total cases and has a five-year survival rate of 59.8%, while metastatic cervical cancer, which is less commonly diagnosed (15% of cases), has a five-year relative survival rate of just 18.9%. Furthermore, about 35% of patients with locally advanced cervical cancer develop persistent or recurrent disease following initial treatment, which further impacts patient outcomes.
Despite these dismal prognoses, only a few immuno/targeted therapies have been approved for cervical cancer. There is a particularly high unmet need for targeted therapies for locally advanced disease, with no approved non-chemotherapy regimens for resectable disease. The approval of pembrolizumab earlier this year for FIGO 2014 Stage III-IVA disease marked a milestone as the first approved immunotherapy for locally advanced cervical cancer.
Although several preclinical and clinical studies are underway, the indication has not received any special designations from the US FDA and EMA in the past two years, underscoring the extent of the unmet need.
In recognition of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, we aim to provide a snapshot of the current treatment landscape for cervical cancer, including a list of key emerging therapies, through this infographic.