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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Jan;166(1):94-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Oct 22.

Advanced (>second) line chemotherapy in the treatment of patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer.

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Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba Israel, affiliated with Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.



To explore the pattern of chemotherapy (beyond the second-line) used to treat patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer (including primary peritoneal carcinoma).


This retrospective study included 156 patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer and primary peritoneal carcinoma who were treated in the Gynecologic Oncologic Department at Meir Medical Center between November 1995 and December 2003. Clinical characteristics and data regarding the surgery, chemotherapy, and response to treatment were abstracted from the patients' medical records to determine patient response to advanced lines of chemotherapy for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer.


Of the 156 patients, 63 (40%) were treated beyond second-line chemotherapy. Clinical response to third-line chemotherapy was 11.9% (6.8% had complete clinical response and 5.1% partial clinical response) and 3.4% had stable disease. A total of 17% did not show immediate progression, with a median progression free-interval of 1.5 months. A drastic decline in clinical response rates was shown beyond third-line chemotherapy. Any response to treatment in more advanced lines was consistently under 5%.


These results imply that advanced lines of chemotherapy are associated with low response rates, although a small percentage of patients showed some clinical response or remained with stable disease at the end of treatment. Along with patient preferences, the advantages and disadvantages of continued therapy should be considered, for the side effects of each treatment cannot be overlooked.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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