Cisplatin or carboplatin plus paclitaxel is considered the standard first-line treatment in ovarian cancer. Attempts to maximize tumor cytoreduction with first-line chemotherapy by incorporating new promising agents led to sequential drug administration with two or three doublets. In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the activity and the tolerance of two sequential doublets (paclitaxel/carboplatin and liposomal doxorubicin/carboplatin) administered as first-line treatment in patients with FIGO III/IV ovarian cancer. Treatment consisted of four cycles of carboplatin (6 AUC) plus paclitaxel (175 mg/m2; PC regimen) followed by four cycles with carboplatin (6 AUC) plus liposomal doxorubicin (40 mg/m(2); LD/C regimen) every 3 weeks. Forty-one patients in FIGO III or IV were enrolled. In an intention-to-treat analysis, 20 (49%) complete (CR) and 12 (29%) partial (PR) responses were achieved (overall response rate, ORR: 78%; 95% confidence interval, CI: 64.1-91.9%); with the PC regimen (164 cycles); 7 (17%) patients have stable (SD) and 2 (5%) progressive (PD) disease. The LD/C regimen (124 cycles) was administered in 36 (88%) patients because of 2 early deaths and 3 patient withdrawals. Three additional patients, 2 with PR and 1 with SD after PC chemotherapy) achieved a CR. Upon completion of the LD/C chemotherapy there were 18 (44%) patients with CR and 9 (22%) with PR (ORR=66%; 95% CI: 64-92%). The median duration of response was 27 months and the median time to progression 20 months. The probability of 2-year survival was 67%. Grade 3 and 4 neutropenia was observed in 34 and 14.6% of the patients, respectively, during the PC regimen, while during the treatment with LD/C the percentages for grade 3 and 4 neutropenia were 44.4 and 19.4%, respectively. Febrile neutropenia occurred only in patients treated with the PC regimen (4.9%). The incorporation of liposomal doxorubicin in this sequential doublet schedule of first-line treatment of ovarian carcinoma created a feasible and active regimen. Prospective randomized studies are required to assess its efficacy on patient survival.
Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.