Cisplatin-cyclophosphamide versus carboplatin-cyclophosphamide in advanced ovarian cancer: a randomized phase III study of the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group

J Clin Oncol. 1992 May;10(5):718-26. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1992.10.5.718.


Purpose: Given the potential for improved tolerance, a trial was initiated to compare the toxicity and efficacy of a standard regimen of cisplatin-cyclophosphamide (75 mg/m2 and 600 mg/m2, respectively) with an experimental regimen of carboplatin-cyclophosphamide (300 mg/m2 and 600 mg/m2, respectively) in women with postoperative macroscopic residual ovarian cancer.

Patients and methods: Between 1985 and 1989, 447 (417 eligible) patients were randomized. Treatment arms were well balanced; most patients had stage III (82%), grade 3 (54%) tumors with bulky residual (greater than 2 cm in 59%), and good performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group [ECOG] 0 or 1, 77%). Response was assessed after six 4-week cycles.

Results: The treatments were equally deliverable, with 76% of patients completing their allocated regimen. The reported reasons for failure to complete treatment differed; toxicity/refusal predominated on the cisplatin arm, and progressive disease predominated on the carboplatin arm (P = .0092). Cisplatin-treated patients were more likely to develop neuropathy and nephropathy, and carboplatin patients experienced myelosuppression, particularly thrombocytopenia. Efficacy was similar, with no significant differences for the cisplatin and carboplatin arms in clinical response rate (57% v 59% in those with measurable disease), pathologic response rate (52% v 54% in those suitable for relaparotomy), time to progression (median, 56 v 58 weeks), or overall survival (median, 100 weeks v 110 weeks). Time to progression and survival were predicted by residual disease size, performance status, and treatment center (with those treated at centers that accrued more patients doing better).

Conclusion: Neither regimen is optimal in that relapse remains the norm. It may be inappropriate to expect that any single regimen can be an effective therapy for all patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Both cisplatin and carboplatin are likely to have a role in future treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Carboplatin
  • Cisplatin