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A feasibility study of low-dose, prolonged oral topotecan in patients with advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal serous cancer who have attained a complete clinical response following platinum-based chemotherapy
  1. A. H. Comander and
  2. S. A. Cannistra
  1. Program in Gynecologic Medical Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Amy H. Comander, MD, Division of Hematology-Oncology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Email: acomande{at}


To determine the tolerability of oral maintenance topotecan when administered to patients with advanced ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal serous cancers who have achieved a complete clinical response after first-line platinum-based therapy. Oral topotecan was given at a starting dose of 0.4 mg/m2/dose, twice a day (BID) for 21 consecutive days out of 28 days. The dose was subsequently increased to 0.5 mg/m2/dose, twice a day as tolerated. If the patient experienced toxicities during cycle 1 or subsequent cycles, doses were delayed and/or reduced. The lowest dose allowed on protocol was 0.3 mg/m2/dose twice daily. Thirteen patients were enrolled in the study, representing a total of fifty-nine cycles of oral topotecan. The starting dose of 0.4 mg/m2 by mouth (PO) BID for 21 days was generally difficult for patients to tolerate, usually due to progressive anemia and fatigue, and a dose reduction to 0.3 mg/m2 was necessary in 10/13 patients. A median of six cycles was administered, although 6 of 13 patients could not tolerate the planned 6 cycles due to toxicity. Hematologic toxicity was the most common side effect, although there were no episodes of febrile neutropenia. Diarrhea was the most common nonhematologic side effect, occurring in 8 of 13 patients. Six patients were removed from the study prior to completing the planned six cycles of therapy, after receiving a median number of 2.5 cycles of treatment. This dose and schedule of oral topotecan does not appear to be feasible in this patient population.

  • maintenance chemotherapy
  • ovarian cancer
  • topotecan

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