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Gynecological malignancies.

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Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


A large study of tumors of low malignant potential confirmed the favorable survival in this group of patients compared to invasive epithelial ovarian tumors. Only 8% of patients died with recurrent disease after surgery. Patients with stage IA borderline tumors with mucinous histology tended to recur later and carried a poorer prognosis than patients with serous histology and similar stage. The group at highest risk for relapse were age greater than 70, stage II or III tumors, and histology other than serous. Long-term survival in this group was less than 75%. This high-risk group of patients should be targeted for innovative adjuvant treatment strategies. This year several well-designed studies with large sample sizes showed DNA ploidy to be an important new independent prognostic factor in stage I ovarian carcinoma. In patients with well-differentiated early stage ovarian cancer, DNA flow cytometric analysis may indicate subgroups with less favorable prognostic characteristics. This method of analysis may be beneficial in determining the need for additional treatments after surgery for early stage ovarian carcinoma. Recommendations for the definitive management of early stage ovarian cancer awaits completion of current GOG and European randomized prospective studies. Paclitaxel given in combination with platinum-containing agents is an intense area of research for treatment of advanced stage disease. Early data from a prospective randomized trial of patients with advanced ovarian cancer showed a higher response rate and longer disease-free survival in patients treated with paclitaxel and cisplatin compared to a standard regimen of cyclophosphamide and cisplatin. The impact of this treatment on long-term survival awaits maturation of data. Preliminary results evaluating G-CSF in combination with paclitaxel and cisplatin for dose escalation was reported. Paclitaxel, 250 mg/m2, and cisplatin, 75 mg/m2, were the maximally tolerated doses, with peripheral neuropathy or myalgias the dose limiting toxicities. Further studies are now underway to test the effect of dose-response with escalation therapies and to determine the optimal dose and schedule for the management of patients with advanced ovarian cancer. IL-3 significantly ameliorated neutropenia but did not prevent cumulative platelet toxicity in a regimen utilizing high-dose carboplatin. This mild improvement in myelosuppression was obtained at the cost of significant toxicity. Nausea, vomiting, malaise, bone pain, headache, fever, chills and facial flushing were frequent. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy was tested as a means of consolidation treatment for patients after having a negative second-look laparotomy. These treatments were shown to be feasible; however, prospective randomized trials will be necessary to determine a benefit over operative therapy alone. Several studies addressed to problem of residual disease after primary surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. A large phase II study conducted by the GOG confirmed the activity of salvage cisplatin-based intraperitoneal chemotherapy in patients with small-volume residual ovarian cancer with favorable pretreatment characteristics. Whether intraperitoneal platinum-based therapy represents an advantage over systemic platinum therapy is being addressed in a prospective SWOG study. The use of six additional cycles of CAP for treatment of residual disease after primary treatment of surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy did not significantly improve complete pathological response and survival. Prolonged duration of chemotherapy above six cycles is not likely to impact treatment for residual disease. A regimen of high dose carboplatin was compared to whole abdominal radiotherapy for treatment of residual disease after initial chemotherapy. There was no difference in survival or disease-free survival between treatments.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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