Chemotherapy versus hormonal treatment in platinum- and paclitaxel-refractory ovarian cancer: a randomised trial of the German Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynaekologische Onkologie (AGO) Study Group Ovarian Cancer

TitleChemotherapy versus hormonal treatment in platinum- and paclitaxel-refractory ovarian cancer: a randomised trial of the German Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynaekologische Onkologie (AGO) Study Group Ovarian Cancer
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
Authorsdu Bois, A, Meier, W, Luck, HJ, Emon, G, Möbus, V, Schröder, W, Costa, S, Bauknecht, T, Olbricht, S, Jackisch, C, Richter, B, Wagner, U
JournalAnn Oncol
Volume13
Pagination251-7
KeywordsAdult Aged Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects/*therapeutic use Busulfan/adverse effects/*analogs & derivatives/*therapeutic use Cisplatin/therapeutic use Female Humans Leuprolide/adverse effects/*therapeutic use Middle Aged Ova
Abstract

BACKGROUND: The majority of patients with ovarian cancer are not cured by first-line treatment. Until now, no study could demonstrate any substantial benefit when exposing ovarian cancer patients to second-line chemotherapy. However, most treatment regimens induce toxicity, thus negatively influencing the quality of rather limited life spans. Here we evaluate whether a second-line chemotherapy can offer any benefit compared with a less toxic hormonal treatment. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with ovarian cancer progressing during platinum-paclitaxel containing first-line therapy or experiencing relapse within 6 months were eligible. Patients were stratified for response to primary treatment (progression versus no change/response), and measurable versus non-measurable disease. Treatment consisted of either treosulfan 7 g/m5 infused over 30 min or leuprorelin 3.75 mg injected subcutaneously or intramuscularly. Both regimens were repeated every 4 weeks. RESULTS: This study began in late 1996, and after 2.5 years accrual an interim analysis was performed when several investigators reported their concern about a suspected lack of efficacy. Following this analysis the recruitment was stopped early and the 78 patients already enrolled were followed up. The majority of patients received treatment until progressive disease was diagnosed or death occurred. Treatment delay was observed rarely and dose reduction was performed only in the treosulfan arm in 5% of 150 courses. Overall, both treatment arms were well tolerated. No objective responses were observed. The median survival time was 36 and 30 weeks in the treosulfan and leuprorelin arms, respectively. Overall survival did not differ between patients with relapse 3-6 months after first-line chemotherapy compared with patients with progressive disease within 3 months. CONCLUSIONS: The selected patient population represents a subgroup with extremely poor prognosis. Accordingly, results were not impressive. Both treatment arms showed favourable toxicity data, but failed to show remarkable activity, thus adding only limited evidence to the issue of whether patients with refractory ovarian cancer might benefit from second-line chemotherapy. Even stratified analysis did not identify any subgroup of patients in whom the administration of second-line chemotherapy could demonstrate a clinically relevant survival benefit.