Paclitaxel efficacy and tolerability in second-line treatment of refractory and relapsed ovarian cancer patients

J Chemother. 1999 Aug;11(4):301-5. doi: 10.1179/joc.1999.11.4.301.


Nineteen patients with recurrent or refractory ovarian carcinoma after a first-line platinum-based chemotherapy were treated with a 3-hour i.v. infusion of paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 every 3 weeks from November 1992 to October 1996. The major hematologic toxicity was neutropenia (63.2%). No febrile neutropenia was observed. Other hematologic effects were leukopenia (47.4%) and anemia (47.4%). The main non-hematologic toxicities were as follows: neuropathy (52.6%), nausea and vomiting (36.8%), myalgia (36.8%), cardiac toxicity (15.8%) and mucositis (10.5%). Alopecia was observed in the majority of cases. The overall response rate was 47.4%, with 5 (26.3%) complete responses (CRs) and 4 (21.1%) partial responses (PRs). The median duration of response was 7 months (range: 3-19), with a median follow-up of 17 months (range: 3-61). Quality of life of responding patients was good. Our results confirm that paclitaxel as second-line therapy in relapsed and refractory ovarian cancer patients is an acceptable treatment with a good safety profile, and can be safely administered at the dose of 175 mg/m2. In our study paclitaxel was more active in relapsed than in refractory patients. Consequently, further studies are needed to identify more effective drugs for the refractory subset.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / pathology
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / drug therapy
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Paclitaxel