Combination Chemotherapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Shows Promise

Combination Chemotherapy for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Shows Promise

A recent article in the Annals of Oncology reports that women with ovarian cancer who have received multiple chemotherapy regimens may benefit from chemotherapy with Doxil ® (pegylated liposomal doxorubicin) and Navelbine® (vinorelbine).

Ovarian cancer is a malignancy that arises from various different cells within the ovaries. Approximately 25,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer often goes undetected until the disease has progressed into the abdomen or spread to other organs. The best “treatment” strategy for cancer is to prevent its occurrence or to detect it early when it is most treatable. Current treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy and possibly radiation. Unfortunately, ovarian cancer is often difficult to treat and the cancer often recurs, requiring multiple chemotherapy treatment regimens.

In this recent trial, all 32 of the patients had received prior treatment with a platinum-based chemotherapy and paclitaxel. On average, patients had received 2 different chemotherapy regimens before beginning the study, with treatment ranging anywhere from 1 to 6 different chemotherapy regimens. Each patient received treatment with Doxil® 30mg/m2 and Navelbine® 30mg/m2 every 3 weeks for 6 cycles. Ten of the 32 patients were entered into the study to evaluate how the drug was metabolized; 5 patients received Doxil® followed by Navelbine®; and 5 patients received Navelbine® followed by Doxil®.

The results of the study indicated that 30 patients experienced an overall response rate of 37% and 10% of these patients had stabilized disease. The average time until disease progression was 5.5 months and overall survival was 9 months. Side effects were generally mild and were reversible. Of the 10 patients who were evaluated for the order in which the drugs were received, the blood levels were considerably higher in the patients who received Doxil® followed by Navelbine®.

Researchers concluded that the Doxil®/ Navelbine® regimen is a safe and effective treatment option for patients who have received multiple chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer. Patients are encouraged to speak to their physician regarding treatment options.

Reference: Katsaros D, Oletti M, et al. Clinical and Pharmacokinetic Phase II Study of Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin and Vinorelbine in Heavily Pretreated Recurrent Ovarian Carcinoma. Annals of Oncology. 2005; 16: 300-306.

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