Lack of effective systemic therapy for recurrent clear cell carcinoma of the ovary

Gynecol Oncol. 2007 May;105(2):404-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2006.12.024. Epub 2007 Feb 9.


Objective: Clear cell carcinoma of the ovary is an aggressive tumor characterized by relative chemoresistance and a poor prognosis. The purpose of this study was to review our experience with recurrent clear cell carcinoma of the ovary to evaluate its responsiveness to systemic cytotoxic and hormonal agents.

Methods: All patients diagnosed with clear cell carcinoma of the ovary seen at our institution between 1990 and 2002 were identified and their medical records reviewed. Eligibility criteria were: 1) primary diagnosis of clear cell carcinoma of the ovary, 2) measurable recurrent disease, 3) treatment of recurrent disease with 1 or more systemic regimens, and 4) adequate clinical information. End points were clinical response, progression-free survival, and overall survival.

Results: Fifty-one patients treated for recurrent clear cell carcinoma were identified. The patients received a total of 105 regimens (344 cycles of therapy). Among patients with platinum-sensitive disease (n=22 regimens), 2 patients (9%) had partial responses to retreatment with carboplatin plus paclitaxel, and 4 (18%) had stable disease. Among patients with platinum-resistant disease (n=83 regimens), only 1 patient (1%) had a partial response - to gemcitabine - and 1 patient had stable disease in response to 2 different regimens-paclitaxel and gemcitabine. The median progression-free survival was 8 months, and the median overall survival was 18 months.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that recurrent clear cell carcinoma of the ovary is particularly chemoresistant. A continued search for more active, targeted agents is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Docetaxel
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melphalan / administration & dosage
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Taxoids / administration & dosage


  • Taxoids
  • Docetaxel
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin
  • Melphalan