A phase II trial of pemetrexed in combination with carboplatin in patients with recurrent ovarian or primary peritoneal cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2012 Feb;124(2):205-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2011.09.007. Epub 2011 Nov 1.


Objective: Carboplatin-based combinations are commonly used in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer (PSOC). Pemetrexed in combination with carboplatin has been shown to be feasible in a phase I study in PSOC. The primary objective of this subsequent phase II study was to determine the overall response rate (ORR; defined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) of this combination in patients with recurrent PSOC. Secondary objectives included progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and toxicity.

Methods: Patients with PSOC (defined by recurrence ≥ 6 months after completion of up to two lines of prior platinum-based therapy), measurable disease, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 2, and adequate organ function were eligible. Pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) was administered as a 10-minute infusion followed by carboplatin AUC 6 as a 30-minute infusion on day 1 of a 21-day cycle.

Results: Sixty-six patients were treated. Of the 61 patients evaluable for response, there were 20 responders (one complete response and 19 partial responses), for an ORR of 32.8% (95% CI: 21.3%, 46.0%). For the intent-to-treat population (all 66 patients), the median PFS was 9.4 months (95% CI: 8.3, 11.1), with 22.7% censoring. Median OS was not reached due to the high censoring rate. There was one drug-related death (multi-organ failure). The most common drug-related grade 3/4 toxicities were neutropenia (39.4%), thrombocytopenia (24.2%), carboplatin hypersensitivity (9.1%), nausea (6.1%), and vomiting (6.1%).

Conclusions: Carboplatin AUC 6 and pemetrexed 500 mg/m(2) has a low incidence of serious toxicities. Defining the platinum-based combination with the best therapeutic index would require a prospective phase III study.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00489359.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carboplatin / adverse effects
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Glutamates / administration & dosage
  • Glutamates / adverse effects
  • Guanine / administration & dosage
  • Guanine / adverse effects
  • Guanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pemetrexed
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Survival Rate


  • Glutamates
  • Pemetrexed
  • Guanine
  • Carboplatin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00489359