Which medications are used in the treatment of ovarian cancer?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020
  • Author: Andrew E Green, MD; Chief Editor: Yukio Sonoda, MD  more...
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Standard postoperative chemotherapy is combination therapy with platinum and paclitaxel. Carboplatin plus paclitaxel is the preferred initial regimen. Randomized studies have proved that cisplatin plus paclitaxel produces equivalent survival rates, but the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel is preferred because of its more tolerable toxicity profile. If patients are treated with cisplatin, paclitaxel should be administered as a 24-hour infusion to decrease the risk of neurotoxicity. Another alternative is to combine carboplatin with docetaxel.

The combination of paclitaxel and carboplatin is customarily given every 3 weeks (day 1 of a 21-day cycle). Because the addition of other drugs to this regimen has proved disappointing, Katsumata et al studied the use of a dose-dense regimen, in which paclitaxel is given on days 1, 8, and 15 and carboplatin is given on day 1. [65] Compared with the conventional regimen, the dose-dense regimen resulted in longer median progression-free survival (28.0 mo versus 17.2 mo) and higher overall survival at 3 years (72.1% versus 65.1%). Early discontinuation was more common with the dose-dense regimen, and these patients were more likely to experience toxicity, especially neutropenia and anemia.

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