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Maintenance chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer: the US experience
  1. M. Markman
  1. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Maurie Markman, MD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Email: mmarkman{at}


The somewhat controversial results of a Southwest Oncology Group/Gynecologic Oncology Group phase 3 randomized trial have revealed that a maintenance strategy consisting of 12 cycles of single-agent paclitaxel (175 mg/m2 over 3 h every 28 days), delivered to women with advanced ovarian cancer who have achieved a clinically defined complete response to primary platinum–paclitaxel chemotherapy, significantly improves progression-free survival compared to delivery of three cycles of the same treatment regimen. While it is not possible to provide a definitive statement regarding the impact of this management approach on overall survival, in an exploratory analysis, patients who initiated this study with a baseline CA-125 level ≤10 units/mL and were treated with the 12-cycle maintenance program experienced a statistically significant improvement in survival. An ongoing Gynecologic Oncology Group trial in the United States will hopefully provide a definitive answer to the question of the impact of this novel strategy on outcome in ovarian cancer.

  • chemotherapy
  • ovarian cancer
  • paclitaxel

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