Introduction: Advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer is generally managed with cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy consisting of carboplatin and paclitaxel. Although initially responsive, most tumors recur and demonstrate progressive chemotherapy resistance. During the last 20 years, many thousands of women have participated in international front-line phase 3 trials that have contributed to our understanding of ovarian cancer biology and helped to define optimal treatment strategies. Emerging data from these trials need to be interpreted within an evolving paradigm of cancer biology, disease management, and availability of clinical resources.
Methods: Survey of recent phase 3 trials and emerging principles of ovarian tumor biology.
Results: There is no evidence that adding a third cytotoxic agent improves clinical outcomes. However, weekly dose-dense scheduling of paclitaxel appears superior to standard dosing.
Conclusion: Primary therapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel remains a well-tolerated standard regimen, including the option of weekly paclitaxel dosing. Data are awaited from completed trials incorporating bevacizumab. Emerging biological paradigms will contribute to individualized treatment options in the future.
- Ovarian carcinoma
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