Purpose: To provide an investigational drug, paclitaxel, now commercially available, to women with refractory ovarian cancer and to evaluate response and toxicity in these patients. Patients and Methods: Patients with platinum- refractory ovarian cancer, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status 0 to 3, at least three prior chemotherapy regimens, adequate hepatic and renal function, and no significant cardiac history were eligible. Patients were treated with paclitaxel 135 mg/m2 administered by 24-hour continuous intravenous infusion every 3 weeks. Results: Leukopenia was the most frequent toxicity, with 78% of patients experiencing grade 3 or 4 toxicity. Other grade 3 and 4 toxicities were less common: fever (33%), infection (12%), thrombocytopenia (8%), vomiting (7%), cardiac (2%), neurologic (2%), and mucositis (1%). Fifteen treatment-related deaths (1.5%) were reported. The objective response rate was 22% (4% complete response [CR], 18% partial response; 95% confidence interval [Cl] for overall response, 19% to 25%). The median time to progression from treatment initiation was 7.1 months in responding patients and 4.5 months for all patients. The median survival duration was 8.8 months. Conclusion: Paclitaxel has shown activity in women with platinum-refractory ovarian cancer, and it can be administered with an acceptable safety profile. Further research is needed to determine the optimal role of paclitaxel in the primary and salvage treatment of ovarian cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research