Intraperitoneal chemotherapy with taxanes for ovarian cancer with peritoneal dissemination

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2006 Aug;32(6):666-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2006.03.008. Epub 2006 Apr 17.


Paclitaxel and docetaxel are currently the two clinically available taxanes. The combination of a taxane and a platinum compound has become the systemic chemotherapy of choice for primary ovarian cancer. Despite the high activity of these drugs in systemic chemotherapy, the majority of patients with advanced ovarian cancer will develop recurrent disease and ultimately decease of this disease. Therefore, more effective systemic chemotherapy regimens or alternative treatment modalities are warranted. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy is such an alternative treatment option. Pharmacokinetic studies on intraperitoneal administration of paclitaxel and docetaxel demonstrated very high locoregional drug concentrations and exposure. Their activity and response seem to be dose-dependent and hence higher efficacy with limited systemic toxicity is to be expected. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy may be combined intraoperatively with hyperthermia, which enhances tissue penetration and cytotoxic activity of many drugs. The data concerning thermal enhancement of taxanes are inconsistent, but at the high locoregional concentrations provided by intraperitoneal drug administration such a thermal enhancement seems to exist. Clinical studies have clearly demonstrated the feasibility and efficacy of intraperitoneal instillation chemotherapy with taxanes in patients with ovarian cancer. Preliminary results of a phase III study demonstrated improved outcome with the addition of intraperitoneal instillation chemotherapy to systemic chemotherapy after optimal primary cytoreductive surgery. Intraoperative hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy with docetaxel has been performed in a single study, in which promising results were observed. Further clinical investigations with an adequate follow-up period are needed to confirm the promising initial results and to determine the exact efficacy of intraperitoneal chemotherapy with these drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use*
  • Docetaxel
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paclitaxel / pharmacokinetics
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Prognosis
  • Taxoids / pharmacokinetics
  • Taxoids / therapeutic use*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Taxoids
  • Docetaxel
  • Paclitaxel