Options for primary chemotherapy of epithelial ovarian cancer: Taxanes

Edward L. Trimble, Susan G. Arbuck, William P. McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The taxanes, a new class of anticancer agents, act by promoting the assembly of microtubules and stabilizing formed tubules. Two taxanes, paclitaxel and docetaxel, have clinical activity in epithelial ovarian carcinomas, including tumors with platinum resistance. Toxicities associated with the taxanes include hyper-sensitivity, leukopenia, neurotoxocity, and alopecia. Premedication with dexamethasone, diphenhydramine, and cimetidine decreases the incidence of severe anaphylactic reactions to less than 3%. In Phase II studies, response rates to paclitaxel in patients with previously treated ovarian cancer ranged from 20 to 48%. To date, only two Phase III study using paclitaxel in the treatment of ovarian cancer have mature data. In one trial in patients with suboptimally debulked stage III and IV ovarian cancer, conducted by the Gynecologic Oncology Group, patients receiving paclitaxel/cisplatin had a significantly greater clinical response rate and surgical response rate and a significantly smaller risk of progression than those of patients receiving cisplatin/cyclophosphamide. In a Phase III study of paclitaxel in previously treated patients at two different schedules (3- and 24-hr infusions), conducted by the Canadian-European Taxol Cooperative Group, patients on the 24-hr infusion experienced significantly more grade 4 neutropenia than those receiving the 3-hr infusion. The optimal dose, schedule, and combination for paclitaxel in the treatment of patients with ovarian cancer have not yet been defined. In Phase II studies of docetaxel in patients with previously treated ovarian cancer, response rates of 3335% were noted. Peripheral edema was noted to be a clinically significant toxicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S114-S121
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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