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According to an article recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the addition of Gemzar® (gemcitabine) to Paraplatin® (carboplatin) improves progression-free survival among women who received prior therapies for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women. It is considered to be one of the most deadly cancers because the vast majority of patients are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread from the ovary. Approximately 90% of patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer will experience a recurrence of their disease; long-term survival for these patients remains unfavorable.

Researchers from Europe, Canada, and the United States recently conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the addition of Gemzar to carboplatin in the treatment of women with recurrent ovarian cancer. This trial included 356 patients who had received prior therapy with chemotherapy including either carboplatin or Platinol® (cisplatin). They had experienced a cancer recurrence at least six months following initial therapy. One group of patients was treated with Gemzar/carbolatin, and the other group of patients received carboplatin only.

  • Half of the patients treated with Gemzar/carboplatin did not experience cancer progression at 8.6 months, compared to only 5.8 months for those treated with carboplatin alone.
  • A complete disappearance of detectable cancer occurred in 14.6% of patients treated with Gemzar/carboplatin, compared with only 6.2% treated with carboplatin only.
  • Overall anticancer responses occurred in 47% of patients treated with Gemzar/carboplatin, compared with just 31% of patients treated with carboplatin only.
  • The most common serious side effects associated with the addition of Gemzar included low levels of blood cells.
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These results indicate the superiority of the addition of Gemzar to carboplatin for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer that has recurred.

Patients with recurrent ovarian cancer may wish to speak with their physician regarding their individual risks and benefits of treatment with Gemzar.

Reference: Pfisterer J, Plante M, Vergote I, et al. Gemcitabine Plus Carboplatin Compared With Carboplatin in Patients With Platinum-Sensitive Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: An Intergroup Trial of the AGO-OVAR, the NCIC CTG, and the EORTC GCG. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2006. Early online publication September 11. DOI:10.1200/JCO.2006.06.0913.

Related News:Gemzar® Approved for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer (7/18/2006)

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