Weekly paclitaxel in the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer

Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2010 Oct;7(10):575-82. doi: 10.1038/nrclinonc.2010.120. Epub 2010 Aug 3.


Weekly paclitaxel is a highly active and well tolerated regimen that is increasingly being adopted for the treatment of relapsed ovarian cancer. This regimen is usually administered at 80-90 mg/m(2)/week, and the use of a 1 h infusion helps minimize myelosuppression. When compared with the 3-weekly schedule, weekly paclitaxel is better tolerated, with a reduced frequency of grade 3-4 toxic effects. Single-agent weekly paclitaxel for relapsed ovarian cancer yields response rates in the range of 20-62%; however, response duration can be short. Responses to weekly paclitaxel have been observed in patients whose tumors are resistant to 3-weekly paclitaxel. The level of activity of weekly paclitaxel for relapsed disease has led to its detailed evaluation in the first-line setting, and interest has been enhanced by the results of a Japanese Gynecological Oncology Group study that demonstrated a survival advantage for weekly paclitaxel compared with 3-weekly paclitaxel in combination with carboplatin as initial treatment. The enhanced efficacy of weekly paclitaxel may be due to greater drug exposure, a direct antiangiogenic effect, or both. Current research topics include the combination of weekly paclitaxel with molecular-targeted agents and the use of molecular profiling to better select patients for treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / administration & dosage*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage*
  • Patient Selection


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel