Vaginal drug delivery for the localised treatment of cervical cancer

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Cervical cancer is usually treated by surgery, with the more advanced cancers requiring adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The location of the cervix makes it easily accessible through the vagina for the localised delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs. Localised delivery has the advantage of direct delivery to the site of action resulting in a lower dose having to be required and a reduction in systemic side effects. This approach would be advantageous for fertility sparing surgery, whereby localised delivery could be used to reduce tumour size allowing for a much smaller tumour to be removed, reducing the risk of preterm birth. Furthermore, localised delivery could be used after surgery to reduce the risk of recurrence, which is significantly higher in fertility sparing surgery compared to standard surgery. In this paper, we discuss the number of vaginal dosage forms that have investigated for this purpose, including tablets, rings, bioadhesive and cervical caps. APIs under investigation have ranged from well-established chemotherapeutic drugs to more experimental compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817–828
JournalDrug delivery and translational research
Issue number6
Early online date8 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Cervical cancer
  • Fertility sparing surgery
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Vaginal drug delivery
  • Localised drug delivery


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