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Combination Chemo Most Effective for Ovarian Cancer

Platinum-based drugs and taxanes used together yields best survival times

THURSDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Combination chemotherapy regimens, using both platinum-based drugs and taxanes, produce the best results in the treatment of ovarian cancer, according to a report published in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

John P.A. Ioannidis, M.D., of the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Ioannina, Greece, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 60 randomized trials of ovarian cancer treatments covering 15,609 women over a span of 40 years.

Intraperitoneal administration of a platinum and taxane combination therapy produced the best survival times, the analysis revealed. Compared with regimens using neither taxanes nor platinum and using non-intraperitoneal administration, the regimen resulted in a relative mortality risk reduction of 55 percent. The relative risk reduction for combination therapy without intraperitoneal administration was 42 percent and for platinum-based therapies the relative risk reduction was 40 percent with intraperitoneal administration and 30 percent without.

"The absolute magnitude of the increase in survival time is impressive. For an expected median survival of 2.5 years without effective treatment, approximately three years are gained with the most effective current treatments," the authors conclude. "However, these benefits should be tailored to the individual patient and balanced against tolerability."

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