Treatment of ovarian cancer with the chemotherapy drugs Paraplatin® (carboplatin) and Taxol® (paclitaxel) results in better quality of life than treatment with Platinol® (cisplatin) and Taxol. These results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Ovarian cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death among women in the U.S.; according to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 22,220 new cases were diagnosed in 2005. Over the past 10 years, platinum-based chemotherapy regimens have become the mainstay of treatment for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
The chemotherapy drugs Paraplatin and Platinol have both been used in the treatment of ovarian cancer and appear to produce similar survival benefits. Platinol, however, has been linked with more adverse effects of treatment, such as hair loss, fever, and changes in nerve function. In the U.S. , the combination of Paraplatin and Taxol is more commonly used than the combination of Platinol and Taxol for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer.
To compare quality of life after treatment with Paraplatin or Platinol, researchers in Austria and Germany assessed 798 women with stage IIB to stage IV ovarian cancer. The women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer between 1995 and 1997. Half of the participants were treated with Paraplatin and Taxol, and half were treated with Platinol and Taxol.
Quality of life was higher among the patients treated with Paraplatin and Taxol:
- Compared to patients treated with Platinol and Taxol, patients treated with Paraplatin and Taxol had higher overall quality of life, as well as better physical and cognitive functioning.
- Patients treated with Paraplatin and Taxol reported less nausea and vomiting, less appetite loss, and less fatigue after completion of treatment.
The researchers conclude that Paraplatin is associated with better quality of life than Platinol. They add that physicians may wish to use Paraplatin rather than Platinol in the treatment of ovarian cancer. In the U.S., Paraplatin is already more commonly used than Platinol for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer.
Reference: Greimel EF, Bjelic-Radisic V, Pfisterer et al. Randomized Study of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynaekologische Onkologie Ovarian Cancer Study Group Comparing Quality of Life in Patients with Ovarian Cancer Treated with Cisplatin/Paclitaxel Versus Carboplatin/Paclitaxel. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2006;24:579-586.