Objective: Although paclitaxel and carboplatin therapy (TC) is an established effective standard regimen for patients with ovarian cancer, both treatment delay for hematologic toxicity and discontinuation of treatment due to neurotoxicity have occasionally been reported. To achieve therapeutic density, we evaluated the usefulness of weekly low-dose TC therapy (WTC) in patients with platinum-sensitive (median PFI was 11.4 +/- 2.7 months) recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer.
Methods: A total of 25 patients were treated with paclitaxel at 60 mg/m(2) and carboplatin at AUC = 2 using 3 weekly courses with a 1-week break schedule. Eighteen patients had assessable tumors for response, and the other seven patients were evaluated by CA-125-based response. All of the patients were assessable for toxicity.
Results: The overall response rate (OR) based on WHO criteria was 84.2% (95% CI; 0.65-0.98), including nine complete responses (CR); OR based on CA-125 was 85.7% (95% CI; 0.42-0.99), including 3 CR. The total response rate was 88.0% (95% C.I.; 0.68-0.97). The median progression-free survival of the patients was 13.5 months during the mean follow-up period of 21.9 +/- 9.2 months. No patients had grade 1 or higher thrombocytopenia, and although 44% of the patients developed neurotoxicity, all cases remained grade 1. Treatment delay of over 7 days due to toxicity was observed in only two patients (16.0%) and in six cycles (1.3%) in a total of 451 cycles.
Conclusion: WTC combination, as used in this study, produced a high response rate with acceptable toxicity, and the optimal combination in a weekly regimen remains to be determined.