Objective Most patients with epithelial ovarian cancer will experience a recurrence; currently, there is no cure. In patients with platinum-sensitive disease (platinum-free interval >6 months), a combination similar to that used as frontline therapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) is recommended. However, it is associated with a high incidence (20%) of neurotoxicity. This study evaluated the efficacy and toxicity of combination docetaxel/carboplatin therapy in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer.
Methods Forty patients with recurrent, histologically proven ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer were enrolled in this phase 2 trial. The study protocol included combination therapy with docetaxel, 30 mg/m2, on days 1 and 8, and carboplatin, area under the curve 5, on day 1, every 21 days. Twenty received the classical paclitaxel/carboplatin regimen (control group), and another 20 received the modified docetaxel/carboplatin protocol (study group).
Results Median follow-up was 78 months for the study group and 62 months for the control group. The study group had a higher overall response rate compared to controls: 80% and 30%, respectively (P = 0.004; relative risk, 9.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.18–39.96). Complete response was achieved in 60% and 25%, respectively (P = 0.054). The study group patients showed a superior 2-year survival rate of 75% compared with the 35% of the controls (P = 0.011; relative risk, 5.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.47–21.56). Hematological and neurological toxicity rates did not differ between the groups (P = 0.451 and P = 0.605, respectively).
Conclusions Patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who received the modified docetaxel/carboplatin regimen had higher overall response and survival rates compared to those who had the paclitaxel/carboplatin regimen, with no difference in toxicity. Future larger studies should focus on strategies to compare this regimen to the current standard, with an emphasis on quality of life.
- Recurrent ovarian cancer
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.