Background: Recurrent or persistent clear cell carcinoma (CCC) of the ovary is particularly chemotherapy resistant. The purpose of this study was to review our extensive institutional experiences with recurrent or persistent CCC with the aim of finding a more effective chemotherapy regimen.
Methods: The medical records of 67 patients treated for CCC of the ovary were retrospectively reviewed to select patients subsequently treated for recurrence or persistence of the disease.
Results: The review identified 20 patients treated for recurrent or persistent CCC. For these 20 patients, 9 chemotherapeutic regimens, with 125 cycles, were administered. Gemcitabine monotherapy showed the best response rate [1 partial response (20%) and 2 stable diseases out of 5 patients so treated]. A partial response was observed with a combination of docetaxel plus irinotecan in 1 of 11 patients (9%). Stable disease was observed in 1 of 9 cases on a paclitaxel/carboplatin doublet and in 1 case on a docetaxel/carboplatin doublet. The median overall survival time was 8 months (range, 2-52). One group of patients who received gemcitabine therapy showed significantly better survival (n = 5, median 18 months) compared with a group who did not (n = 15, median 7 months) (P = 0.0108, by univariate analysis). In addition, multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed that gemcitabine administration was a significant factor for survival (hazard ratio: 13.0, 95% CI: 1.4727-115.2255, P = 0.02).
Conclusion: Although most chemotherapeutic regimens for recurrent or persistent CCC have little or no effect, gemcitabine showed modest activity and is the most effective agent we have tested to date.