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Frequent Dosing Can Improve Survival in Ovarian Cancer

Last Updated: September 21, 2009.

More frequent dosing with paclitaxel combined with carboplatin improves survival in women with advanced ovarian cancer, according to a study published early online Sept. 20 in The Lancet to coincide with the European Cancer Organisation meeting in Berlin.

MONDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- More frequent dosing with paclitaxel combined with carboplatin improves survival in women with advanced ovarian cancer, according to a study published early online Sept. 20 in The Lancet to coincide with the European Cancer Organisation meeting in Berlin.

As part of an open label Phase III trial, Noriyuki Katsumata, M.D., from the National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo, and colleagues randomly assigned 631 women with stage II to IV epithelial ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, or primary peritoneal cancer to conventional treatment with paclitaxel plus carboplatin (every three weeks), or dose-dense paclitaxel (once a week) plus carboplatin (every three weeks).

After a median follow-up of 29 months, the researchers found that the median progression-free survival was significantly longer in the dose-dense group (28.0 versus 17.2 months; hazard ratio, 0.71). Three-year overall survival was also significantly longer in patients receiving the dose-dense regimen (72.1 versus 65.1 percent; hazard ratio, 0.75). More patients in the dose-dense group had neutropenia and high-grade anemia and discontinued treatment early, while the frequency of other toxic effects was similar.

"The use of such dose-dense therapy should be decided on an individual basis together with other options for women with advanced-stage ovarian cancer, including intraperitoneal therapy, neoadjuvant treatment, or substitution of docetaxel," Michael A. Bookman, M.D., from the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson comments in an accompanying editorial.

Three study authors reported financial ties to Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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