Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with six cycles of carboplatin and paclitaxel in advanced ovarian cancer patients unsuitable for primary surgery: Safety and effectiveness

Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Feb;132(2):287-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2013.12.002. Epub 2013 Dec 9.


Objective: Three cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) followed by interval debulking (ID) surgery is an alternative for patients with advanced ovarian cancer unresectable disease. This study aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of six cycles of NACT followed by cytoreduction.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of all patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer, tubal carcinoma, or primary peritoneal carcinoma treated with platinum based NACT between January 2008 and February 2012.

Results: Eighty-two patients underwent NACT; 78% and 18.2% had extensive stage IIIC or IV disease at diagnosis, respectively. Their median age was 60 years (41-82). On histology, serous adenocarcinoma was found in 90.2%. Patients did not receive chemotherapy after debulking surgery. 35.4% suffered grade 3/4 toxicity; the most commonly observed toxicities were hematologic and nausea. After NACT, 23.1% experienced clinical complete response, 57.4% partial response, and 12.1% disease progression. Complete resection of all macroscopic and microscopic disease (R0) was performed in 63.7%. Surgical complications were uncommon; however, four (6.2%) patients needed a second procedure due to operative complications and 18 (27.3%) needed blood transfusion after debulking. Over a median follow-up period of 19.2 months, median overall survival and chemotherapy-free interval were 37.5 months (confidence interval not reached) and 16 months, respectively.

Conclusion: Six cycles of neoadjuvant carboplatin and paclitaxel was safe and effective and did not increase perioperative or postoperative complications in patients with stage IIIC/IV disease who were unsuitable for optimal PDS. The overall survival of this cohort was higher than that of those treated with ID surgery.

Keywords: Carboplatin and paclitaxel; Neoadjuvant therapy; Ovarian cancer; Survival; Toxicity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carboplatin / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Paclitaxel / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis


  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel