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Gynecol Oncol. 2002 Apr;85(1):71-80.

Systematic review of first-line chemotherapy for newly diagnosed postoperative patients with stage II, III, or IV epithelial ovarian cancer.

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University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The aim of this study was to determine the optimal postoperative chemotherapy regimen for women with newly diagnosed stage II, III (micro or macro), or IV epithelial ovarian cancer.


A systematic search was conducted to find randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses published between 1980 and April 2001.


A published meta-analysis found that, compared with non-platinum-based regimens, platinum, alone or in combination with other agents, improved survival when used as first-line chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. The meta-analysis did not detect a difference in efficacy between cisplatin and carboplatin. A published randomized trial of cisplatin plus paclitaxel versus carboplatin plus paclitaxel did not detect a significant difference in survival between these regimens. In two randomized trials, treatment with paclitaxel plus cisplatin resulted in improved survival compared with cyclophosphamide plus cisplatin. A randomized trial of paclitaxel plus cisplatin versus paclitaxel alone versus cisplatin alone detected no differences in survival among the three treatment groups. While hematologic adverse effects were more frequent with carboplatin than with cisplatin, nonhematologic adverse effects were less frequent with carboplatin. The addition of paclitaxel to cisplatin did not appear to increase the incidence of serious adverse effects.


Intravenous carboplatin plus paclitaxel is the recommended postoperative chemotherapy regimen for newly diagnosed stage II-IV epithelial ovarian cancer. Intravenous cisplatin plus paclitaxel may also be considered a treatment option. Intravenous carboplatin as a single agent may be considered a treatment option in patients for whom paclitaxel is contraindicated or in patients who are unwilling to accept the adverse effects of paclitaxel chemotherapy.

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