Background: Intravenous platinum-based chemotherapy is the standard primary therapy for advanced ovarian cancer. We conducted a phase 3 trial to compare the effects of intraperitoneal and intravenous cisplatin on the survival of women with previously untreated, stage III, epithelial ovarian cancer.
Methods: The patients underwent an initial exploratory laparotomy and resection of all tumor masses larger than 2 cm. Within four weeks after surgery, six courses of intravenous cyclophosphamide (600 mg per square meter of body-surface area per course) plus either intraperitoneal cisplatin (100 mg per square meter) or intravenous cisplatin (100 mg per square meter) were administered at three-week intervals.
Results: Of 654 randomized patients, 546 were eligible for the study. The estimated median survival was significantly longer in the group receiving intraperitoneal cisplatin (49 months; 95 percent confidence interval, 42 to 56) than in the group receiving intravenous cisplatin (41 months; 95 percent confidence interval, 34 to 47). The risk of death was lower in the intraperitoneal group than in the intravenous group (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.61 to 0.96; P = 0.02). Moderate-to-severe tinnitus, clinical hearing loss, and neuromuscular toxic effects were significantly more frequent in the intravenous group.
Conclusions: As compared with intravenous cisplatin, intraperitoneal cisplatin significantly improves survival and has significantly fewer toxic effects in patients with stage III ovarian cancer and residual tumor masses of 2 cm or less.