Race does not impact outcome for advanced ovarian cancer patients treated with cisplatin/paclitaxel: an analysis of Gynecologic Oncology Group trials

Cancer. 2009 Sep 15;115(18):4210-7. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24482.


Background: The objectives of this study were to confirm whether racial disparity exists with regard to outcome between black women and white women with ovarian cancer and to identify factors associated with the administration of adjuvant treatment that had an impact on survival.

Methods: A retrospective review of 97 black women and 1392 white women with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage III/IV ovarian carcinoma was performed. All patients received paclitaxel combined with cisplatin while participating in 1 of 7 Gynecologic Oncology Group clinical trials. The treatment parameters that were reviewed included relative dose, relative time, and relative dose intensity. The treatment parameters and outcomes were compared between black patients and white patients.

Results: There were no differences in relative dose (0.90 vs 0.89), relative time (1.02 vs 0.99), or relative dose intensity (0.90 vs 0.91) received between black patients and white patients. Black women had less grade 3 and 4 leukopenia (53% vs 63%; P<.05) and gastrointestinal toxicity (10% vs 19%; P<.05) than white women. Performance status>0, age>or=70 years, and mucinous histology were associated with not completing treatment (P<.001). The median progression-free survival was 16.2 months for black patients and 16.1 months for white patients, and the median overall survival was 37.9 months and 39.7 months, respectively (P>.05 for all).

Conclusions: When they received similar treatment, there was no difference in clinical outcome between black women and white women with advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer when they received similar treatment as participants in Gynecologic Oncology Group clinical trials. Black patients may experience less severe gastrointestinal toxicity or leukopenia compared with whites when treated with platinum-based chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Minority Health
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin