A retrospective study evaluating the efficacy and tolerability of epirubicin–ifosfamide (EI) in patients with relapsed advanced ovarian cancer (ROC) after prior chemotherapy was conducted. A total of 93 patients received epirubicin (50 mg/m2, day 1), ifosfamide (1500 or 2500 mg/m2, days 1–3), and mesna monthly. Thirty-five percent had received one line of chemotherapy (platinum 100%, taxanes 8%); 38%, two lines; and 27%, more than two lines. Fifty-three percent received 2500 mg/m2/day ifosfamide and 47% received 1500 mg/m2/day ifosfamide. Ifosfamide was administered by continuous infusion in 12 patients. Mean number of courses was 4 (1–12). Grade 4 toxicity was 69% neutropenia and 12% thrombocytopenia. Three patients on high-dose ifosfamide as a short infusion had central nervous system dysfunction resulting in death. There were 84 assessable patients: 7 (8%), complete responses; 13 (15%), partial responses; and 20 (24%), stable disease. Median time to progression was 5 months (3 days to 36 months). The EI combination appears to be effective in ROC. However, toxicity with high-dose ifosfamide administered by short infusion is not acceptable. Tolerability can be improved using ifosfamide at 1500 mg/m2 by continuous infusion. The combination of ifosfamide with newer anthracycline agents such as liposomal doxorubicin may be an alternative and needs further evaluation for use after first-line taxane-based chemotherapy.
- relapsed advanced ovarian cancer
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