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Semin Oncol. 2006 Apr;33(2 Suppl 6):S12-6.

Management of platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer.

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1
Klinik für Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe Campus Kiel, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. jpfisterer@email.uni-kiel.de

Abstract

The majority of patients with ovarian cancer will relapse despite state-of-the-art first-line surgery and chemotherapy. There are two subgroups of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer: those with platinum-resistant disease and those with platinum-sensitive disease. Re-treatment with single-agent platinum has long been considered standard therapy for patients with platinum-sensitive disease, and, based on its favorable therapeutic profile, carboplatin has become the treatment agent of choice. High response rates are seen with platinum agents used in combination with paclitaxel or gemcitabine. The International Collaborative Group for Ovarian Neoplasia (ICON) and the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Gynaekologische Onkologie Studiengruppe Ovarialkarzinom (AGO-OVAR) recently conducted a trial (ICON4/AGO-OVAR-2.2) comparing platinum monotherapy with platinum plus paclitaxel combined. Results showed that overall survival and progression-free survival are improved by combination therapy. Similarly, a significant benefit in progression-free survival for carboplatin plus gemcitabine versus carboplatin monotherapy was seen in the Gynecologic Cancer InterGroup trial. The toxicity profiles and schedules of carboplatin plus paclitaxel and carboplatin plus gemcitabine are different, with the taxane combination having greater neurotoxicity and alopecia, less hematologic toxicity, and requiring longer drug infusions (although fewer days of treatment per cycle) than the gemcitabine combination. Based on the results of these two trials, combination chemotherapy should be considered the standard treatment of recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. The choice of treatment needs to take into account the increase in side effects when using combination chemotherapy compared with carboplatin monotherapy, and the different toxicities of the two combination regimens.

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