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Ethnicity is a factor to be considered before dose planning in ovarian cancer patients to be treated with topotecan
  1. K. F. Tam,
  2. Y. M. Chan,
  3. T. Y. Ng,
  4. L. C. Wong and
  5. H. Y.S. Ngan
  1. Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr Tam Kar Fai, MBBS, MRCOG, FHKAM (O&G), Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong. Email: tamkfa{at}


The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy and toxicity of topotecan in Chinese patients with ovarian cancer. A retrospective analysis on recurrent ovarian cancer patients receiving topotecan 1.25 mg/m2 daily for 5 consecutive days on a 21-day cycle from 1997 to 2002 was conducted. The patients included were all treated with at least two cycles of topotecan. The patient characteristics were compared in relation to their toxicity profile and their response to treatment. Response was evaluated by physical findings, imaging techniques, and serum CA125 level. A total of 60 patients were included in the study. All patients were evaluable for response and toxicities. A total of 361 cycles were given (median, 5 per patient; range 2–15). The major toxicity was neutropenia, which was grade 4 in 45.0% of the patients and 10.2% of the cycles. Age was the only covariate predicting the occurrence of grade 4 neutropenia (logistic regression P = 0.046, CI 1.01–1.12). Neutropenic fever occurred in 8.3% of the patients. Eighteen (30%) patients were required to delay their chemotherapy and 11 (18.3%) required dose reduction. Nonhematologic toxicities were mild. The overall response rate was 21.6%, with eight (13.3%) complete responses and five (8.3%) partial responses. The median duration of response and median time to progression were 11 and 5 months, respectively. The median survival was 14 months. Topotecan 1.25 mg/m2 in a five-times-daily schedule was well tolerated in a cohort of Chinese patients. Myelotoxicity was the most important side effect in our study, but the incidence is much lower than that reported in other studies. Age was an independent factor predicting the occurrence of grade 4 neutropenia.

  • Chinese
  • myelotoxicity
  • neutropenia
  • topotecan

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