Chemotherapy for advanced or recurrent gynecologic cancer

Cancer. 1987 Oct 15;60(8 Suppl):2104-16. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19901015)60:8+<2104::aid-cncr2820601524>;2-d.


Studies of chemotherapy in advanced or recurrent gynecologic cancer have focussed on ovarian, cervical, and endometrial carcinoma. For celomic epithelial carcinomas of the ovary, a large number of cytotoxic agents have been shown to be active. Dramatic improvement in frequency of response with lesser improvement in survival has been noted with the use of cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy as compared to single alkylating agents. More recent studies have evaluated alternative ways to employ cisplatin: higher dose schedules, intraperitoneal administration, and platinum compounds with a potentially better therapeutic index. None has yet been shown superior to a combination of relatively low-dose cisplatin plus an alkylating agent with or without doxorubicin. Cisplatin remains the best studied and most active single agent in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix. While a number of other agents have demonstrated moderate activity, no combination of drugs has as yet proved superior to single-agent cisplatin. In endometrial carcinoma, progestins and doxorubicin are the most active agents. Tamoxifen, cisplatin, and hexamethylmelamine appear to have moderate activity. No combination has yet been shown to be superior to single agents. Information on chemotherapy for less common gynecologic malignancies is largely anecdotal. Two observations are of note. Cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy is highly active against germ-cell neoplasms of the ovary. Cisplatin also has definite activity against mixed mesodermal sarcoma of the uterus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / drug therapy*
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Uterine Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones