No Rise in Ovarian Cancer Survival Rates With Increased Paclitaxel - Study Finds

Among patients not receiving bevacizumab, weekly paclitaxel tied to improved progression-free survival
Among patients not receiving bevacizumab, weekly paclitaxel tied to improved progression-free survival

HealthDay News — Dose-dense weekly paclitaxel does not improve progression-free survival in ovarian cancer, according to a study published in the February 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

John K. Chan MD, from the Sutter Cancer Research Institute in San Francisco, and colleagues compared dose-dense weekly paclitaxel and carboplatin with paclitaxel and carboplatin administered every three weeks among patients with ovarian cancer. Patients were stratified according to whether they elected to receive bevacizumab and were then randomized to paclitaxel every three weeks plus carboplatin for six cycles or paclitaxel administered weekly plus carboplatin for six cycles.

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The researchers found that 84% of the 692 patients enrolled opted to receive bevacizumab. Compared with paclitaxel administered every three weeks, weekly paclitaxel was not associated with longer progression-free survival (14.7 versus 14.0 months, respectively; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.89; 95% confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.06). Weekly paclitaxel correlated with longer progression-free survival among patients who did not receive bevacizumab (14.2 versus 10.3 months; hazard ratio, 0.62; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.40 to 0.95); however, this was not seen among patients receiving bevacizumab (14.9 versus 14.7 months, respectively; hazard ratio, 0.99; 95% confidence interval, 0.83 to 1.20). There was a significant difference for treatment with versus without bevacizumab (P = 0.047).

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"Weekly paclitaxel, as compared with paclitaxel administered every three weeks, did not prolong progression-free survival among patients with ovarian cancer," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Genentech.

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