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Treatment of Advanced or Recurrent Endometrial Carcinoma With Doxorubicin in Patients Progressing After Paclitaxel/Carboplatin: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Experience From 1995 to 2009
  1. Vicky Makker, MD*,
  2. Martee L. Hensley, MD*,
  3. Qin Zhou, MA,
  4. Alexia Iasonos, PhD and
  5. Carol. A. Aghajanian, MD*
  1. *Gynecologic Medical Oncology Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Weill Cornell Medical College; and
  2. Department Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.


Objective Long-term survival for patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma is poor, and limited options exist for the management of recurrent disease. Our goal was to investigate the activity of doxorubicin in the second-line setting in patients who progressed after paclitaxel/carboplatin adjuvant treatment.

Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis of patients with recurrent endometrial carcinoma who were treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 1995 to 2009 and who received paclitaxel/carboplatin adjuvant chemotherapy followed by second-line doxorubicin therapy at time of recurrence. The median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival times following paclitaxel/carboplatin and following second-line doxorubicin therapy were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Toxicity was assessed by the treating physician at each visit and graded using version 4.0 of Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. Patient presentation, treatment, patterns of recurrence, and patient outcomes were summarized.

Results Seventeen patients were included in study analyses. The median PFS from completion of paclitaxel/carboplatin was 8.0 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.5–13.6 months). At the time of recurrence, all 17 patients were treated with doxorubicin as second-line therapy. No patient achieved objective response of stable disease. The median PFS of this cohort following doxorubicin treatment was 2.1 months (95% CI, 0.95–2.7) months. Median overall survival was 5.8 months (95% CI, 1.0–15.0 months). There is only 1 patient still alive; her median follow-up time is 49.4 months. Predominant doxorubicin-related grade 2 toxicities included nausea/vomiting (18.8%), fatigue (18.8%), and neutropenia (12.5%). No grade 3 or 4 toxicities occurred.

Conclusions Among patients with advanced endometrial carcinoma who had received adjuvant paclitaxel/carboplatin, treatment with doxorubicin at time of disease recurrence failed to achieve any objective responses and was associated with a very short (2 months) time to progression. Doxorubicin may be considered inactive as second-line therapy in this endometrial carcinoma population.

  • Doxorubicin
  • Paclitaxel/carboplatin
  • Recurrent endometrial carcinoma

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.