This retrospective analysis involves 569 patients with invasive cancer of the uterine cervix treated with irradiation alone between 1969 and 1980. Treatment consisted of external and intracavitary irradiation and treatment policy remained consistent throughout the study interval. In early stage disease (FIGO IA, IB, and IIA), pelvic failure was 4.6%, 11.2%, and 8.2%, respectively. In late stage disease (FIGO IIB, III, and IVA), pelvic failure was 30.1%, 52.3%, and 69.2%, respectively. Further analysis revealed that total dose at point A is well correlated with pelvic control. An aggressive treatment is crucial in late stage disease in determining the probability of pelvic tumor control and survival. Methods of dose prescription, dose-response relationships, treatment philosophy and its therapeutic implications are discussed.