Despite refinement in the delivery of external radiation and brachytherapy, there has been little improvement in the survival rate of patients with invasive cancer of the uterine cervix in recent years. With advancing stage disease, there is an increase in both local failure and distant metastases. Although recent efforts to improve local control for late stage disease have been encouraging, research efforts should be directed to the identification of new active drugs for radiation sensitization and systemic therapy. Also, due to early detection, therapeutic investigations should focus on the high-risk subsets of patients with early stage disease. © 1993 Blackwell Science Ltd.