Background: Weekly paclitaxel/cisplatin is effective in platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). To reduce toxicity, paclitaxel/cisplatin was replaced by paclitaxel/carboplatin.
Patients and methods: Patients with progressive EOC after prior 3-weekly paclitaxel/carboplatin were treated with six cycles weekly paclitaxel 90 mg/m(2) and carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) 4 mg/ml/min, followed by six cycles 3-weekly paclitaxel/carboplatin. End-points were progression free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), response rate (RR) and toxicity.
Results: Median progression free interval after last platinum was 9 (0-81) months in 108 patients; 43 were platinum-resistant, of whom 13 started weekly paclitaxel/carboplatin <6 months after progression. During 633 weekly cycles grade 3/4 toxicity included; thrombocytopenia 8%, neutropenia 30%, febrile neutropenia 0.5%. Non-haematologic toxicity was low. Treatment was delayed in 16%, and dose reduced in 2% of cycles. RR was 58% for platinum-resistant and 76% for platinum-sensitive patients, median PFS were 8 (range 1-21) and 13 (1-46) months, median OS 15 (1-69) and 26 (4-93) months, respectively. The 13 platinum-resistant patients with a platinum-therapy free interval <6 months had a significant shorter PFS (4 versus 10 months, p=0.035) and OS (9 versus 15 months, p=0.002).
Conclusion: Six cycles weekly paclitaxel/carboplatin followed by six 3-weekly cycles is well-tolerated and highly active in platinum-resistant and platinum-sensitive patients.
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