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Increased Incidence of Severe Gastrointestinal Events With First-Line Paclitaxel, Carboplatin, and Vorinostat Chemotherapy for Advanced-Stage Epithelial Ovarian, Primary Peritoneal, and Fallopian Tube Cancer
  1. Alberto A. Mendivil, MD*,
  2. John P. Micha, MD*,
  3. John V. Brown, MD*,
  4. Mark A. Rettenmaier, MD*,
  5. Lisa N. Abaid, MD, MPH*,
  6. Katrina L. Lopez and
  7. Bram H. Goldstein, PhD*
  1. *Gynecologic Oncology Associates, Newport Beach; and
  2. The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation, Newport Beach, CA.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Bram H. Goldstein, PhD, Gynecologic Oncology Associates, 351 Hospital Rd, Suite 507, Newport Beach, CA. E-mail: bram{at}


Objectives We sought to assess the response rate and toxicity of paclitaxel, carboplatin, andvorinostat primary induction therapy for the treatment of advanced-stage ovarian carcinoma.

Methods Patients were treated with 6 cycles of weekly paclitaxel (80 mg/m2), carboplatin (6 times area under the curve), and vorinostat (200 mg) every 28 days according to an institutional review board–approved protocol. The subjects were eligible for response evaluation; in patients who achieved stable disease or better following the conclusion of primary induction chemotherapy, they were subsequently treated with a planned 12 cycles of paclitaxel (135 mg/m2) and vorinostat (400 mg) maintenance chemotherapy every 28 days.

Results Eighteen patients received a combined 90 cycles (median, 6 cycles; range, 1–6 cycles) of primary induction chemotherapy. Of the 18 subjects, 7 demonstrated a complete response, and 2 subjects exhibited a partial response (a total response rate of 50.0%). Eight patients also received a combined total of 50 cycles (median, 5 cycles; range, 1–12 cycles) of consolidation therapy. Grade 3/4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia were observed in 9 (56.3%) and 2 (12.5%) patients. One patient (6.3%) developed grade 3 anemia, and another (6.3%) manifested a grade 3 neuropathy. Remarkably, we observed a significant gastrointestinal event (eg, bowel anastomotic perforation) in 3 patients, which effectuated the study’s closure.

Conclusions Because the current study was prematurely terminated, we cannot derive a conclusive assessment regarding the efficacy of this treatment. Nevertheless, the high incidence of severe gastrointestinal toxicity warrants further consideration when using vorinostat in the adjuvant setting for patients who have undergone a bowel resection as part of their initial tumor debulking.

  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Paclitaxel
  • Carboplatin
  • Vorinostat

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  • This study was supported by Merck & Co, Inc, and a grant from the Women’s Cancer Research Foundation.

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.