Paclitaxel and platinum chemotherapy for malignant mixed müllerian tumors of the ovary

Gynecol Oncol. 2002 Jun;85(3):459-63. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2002.6645.


Objective: Malignant mixed müllerian tumor (MMMT) of the ovary is a rare tumor with a dismal prognosis. The most effective therapy is unknown. The current study was undertaken to characterize a group of patients treated as if they had aggressive epithelial ovarian tumors, with cytoreductive surgery and combination paclitaxel/platinum chemotherapy.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of data obtained from tumor registry and hospital records of cases of malignant mixed müllerian tumor between January 1, 1992 and January 1, 2000 treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and University of Vermont was performed. Only patients treated with combination paclitaxel and platinum therapy were included in the analysis. Data were collected regarding cytoreduction, response to chemotherapy, disease-free interval, and survival.

Results: Fifty-five patients were identified with MMMT. Twenty-eight patients with a clearly ovarian primary had received treatment with combination paclitaxel and platinum. Paclitaxel and carboplatin was given as second-line therapy in 2 patients who had chemoresponsive but incurable disease; the remaining patients were treated with paclitaxel and platinum therapy as first-line therapy. These 28 patients had a median (range) age of 66 (46-84 years) and stage was I in 2 patients, II in 3, III in 18, and IV in 5. Treatment was generally well tolerated. Sixteen patients of 26 treated with paclitaxel and platinum as first-line therapy achieved a complete clinical response (55%) and 6 patients achieved partial response for a total response rate of 72%. Optimal cytoreduction was associated with increased time to recurrence (P = 0.001) but not with survival. Overall median survival for the 28 patients is 27.1 months.

Conclusion: Although treatment fails many patients, a minority of patients with MMMT in this highly selected population do unexpectedly well. An aggressive approach with surgery and combination paclitaxel-platinum chemotherapy appears to offer very effective therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mixed Tumor, Mullerian / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel