Paclitaxel vs epidoxorubicin plus paclitaxel as second-line therapy for platinum-refractory and -resistant ovarian cancer

Giorgio Bolis, Fabio Parazzini, Giovanna Scarfone, Antonella Villa, Mariangela Amoroso, Emanuela Rabaiotti, Anna Polatti, Simona Reina, Elena Pirletti

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We conducted a randomized clinical trial to compare the efficacy and safety of paclitaxel and a combination including paclitaxel and epidoxorubicin as second-line treatment in platinum-refractory or -resistant ovarian cancer. Patients who had progressive or stable disease during first- line therapy with regimens containing cisplatin or carboplatin (platinum- refractory patients) or who responded and subsequently relapsed within 6 months after discontinuation of first-line platinum-based regimen (platinum- resistant patients) were eligible for the study. They were randomly allocated to paclitaxel 175 mg/m2 every 28 days (41 women) for five cycles or epidoxorubicin 120 mg/m2 iv plus paclitaxel 150 mg/m2 iv every 28 days (40 women). The overall response rates (complete plus partial response) were, respectively, 17.l% in the paclitaxel and 34.2% in the epidoxorubicin plus paclitaxel group (P = 0.10). The 2-year percentage survival was 18 in the paclitaxel group and 10 in the epidoxorubicin plus paclitaxel group. A higher frequency of leukopenia and thrombocytopenia was reported in women allocated to epidoxorubicin plus paclitaxel than in the paclitaxel alone group, but the frequency of neurotoxicity was higher in the paclitaxel alone group. An important limitation of the study is the small sample size. With this sample size we can exclude that multiagent therapy in comparison with single-agent therapy improves response in platinum-refractory and -resistant ovarian cancer of more than 25%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-64
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oncology


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