Options for primary chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer: the European perspective

Gynecol Oncol. 1994 Dec;55(3 Pt 2):S108-13. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1994.1348.


Primary chemotherapy for ovarian cancer has evolved over the past 30 years from the use of single alkylating agent to several combination regimens. Treatment strategies, however, vary greatly both nationally and internationally, since no firm results can be derived from available data. Five questions can be identified: (1) Should primary chemotherapy consist of single agent or combination? (2) Should it include doxorubicin? (3) Is cisplatin or carboplatin preferred? (4) Which is the role of cisplatin dose intensity? (5) Should it include taxol? Available data from the European experience are discussed. Final considerations include: (1) Platinum combinations are more effective than single agent platinum when this drug is used at the same dose (now considered lower than current standard). (2) CAP offers a survival benefit of 7% at 6 years compared to CP. However, in most trials dose intensity was higher in CAP than in CP. (3) Cisplatin and carboplatin are equally effective. (4) There is no survival benefit when doubling the dose intensity of cisplatin over 25 mg/m2/week. (5) A confirmatory study will help define the contribution of Taxol in the first-line treatment of ovarian cancer, when administered at 175 mg/m2 over a 3-hr infusion in association with cisplatin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Paclitaxel / therapeutic use
  • Remission Induction


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin