Intraperitoneal Chemo Boosts Ovarian Cancer Survival

Intraperitoneal cisplatin and paclitaxel plus intravenous paclitaxel is also more toxic

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced ovarian cancer who are given intravenous paclitaxel plus intraperitoneal cisplatin and paclitaxel have more toxic effects, but survive longer than patients given intravenous paclitaxel plus cisplatin, according to a study published in the Jan. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Deborah K. Armstrong, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, and colleagues gave patients with stage III ovarian cancer intravenous paclitaxel over 24 hours, followed by either intravenous cisplatin on day 2 (intravenous-therapy group) or intraperitoneal cisplatin on day 2 and intraperitoneal paclitaxel on day 8 (intraperitoneal-therapy group). Treatment continued every three weeks for six cycles.

The intraperitoneal-therapy group experienced more toxic effects than the intravenous-therapy group. Only 42% of patients were able to complete six cycles of intraperitoneal-based therapy. But the intraperitoneal-therapy group lived progression-free for a median of 23.8 months and survived 65.6 months overall, versus 18.3 months and 49.7 months, respectively, for the intravenous-therapy group.

"Intravenous paclitaxel plus intraperitoneal cisplatin and paclitaxel improves survival in patients with optimally debulked stage III ovarian cancer," the authors write.

In an editorial, Stephen A. Cannistra, M.D., calls the study "compelling evidence" for presenting intraperitoneal chemotherapy as an option to appropriate patients.

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