Objective: The aim of this phase 2 trial was to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of combined gemcitabine (G) and epirubicin (E) as second-line treatment for patients with advanced ovarian cancer.
Methods: Treatment with G 1000 mg/m2 (days 1 and 8) and E 60 mg/m2 (day 1) every 3 weeks for 3 or, in the absence of progression, 6 courses.
Results: Fifty patients with advanced ovarian cancer (31 serous, 2 endometrioid, 10 unclassified adenocarcinoma, and 7 other) and a median age of 60 years (range, 38-74 years) were enrolled after giving their informed consent. Performance status according to the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group was 0 in 29 patients (58%), 1 in 17 patients (34%), and 2 in 4 patients (8%), and the initial stages according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics were I to II in 4 patients (8%), III in 31 patients (62%), and IV in 15 patients (30%). They had previously received a median of 1.5 lines of treatment (range, 1-4). The median platinum-free interval was 5 months (range, 0-12 months): 32 patients had relapse within 6 months and 18 patients had relapse after 6 months.
The response rate was 42% (2% complete response and 40% partial response), with a median duration of 7.2 months: the corresponding figures were 37.5% and 5.2 months in the platinum-resistant patients and 50% and 8.8 months in the platinum-sensitive patients. The main grade 3 to 4 hematological toxicity was neutropenia (56% of cases). After a median follow-up of 13.5 months, median progression-free survival was 5 months, and median overall survival was 23.5 months.
Conclusions: This E + G combination seems to be active and safe in platinum-resistant/refractory patients.
- Ovarian cancer
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.