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Clear-cell cancer of the ovary—is it chemosensitive?
  1. S. Pather and
  2. M. A. Quinn
  1. University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Oncology Unit, The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr Selvan Pather, Division of Gynaecologic Oncology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, 6th floor, Sydney Cancer Centre, Missenden Road, Camperdown 2050, Australia. Email: selvan.pather{at}


The records of all patients with clear-cell ovarian cancer (CCC) who underwent complete surgical staging and chemotherapy between 1984 and 2001 were reviewed and 39 patients identified as suitable for study. The mean patient age was 56 years, and the stage distribution was as follows: stage I, 53%; stage II, 13%; stage III, 32%; and stage IV, 2%. One in three patients with stage I disease developed recurrent disease despite adjuvant chemotherapy. Seventy percent of tumors demonstrated a response to combination carboplatin and paclitaxel. Tumors which had either a partial response or failed to respond to first-line chemotherapy demonstrated no response to second-line nonplatinum chemotherapy. Endometriosis was identified in 31% of tumors, and 18% of patients developed deep venous thrombosis (DVT); however, neither endometriosis nor DVT was associated with a poorer outcome. CCC has a high recurrence rate in early-stage disease despite adjuvant treatment with cytotoxic chemotherapy. Advanced disease does respond to carboplatin and paclitaxel, which should be the chemotherapeutic regimen of choice. New second-line agents are urgently required.

  • carboplatin
  • clear-cell ovary adenocarcinoma
  • paclitaxel

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