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Dr. Birrer Discusses Recurrent Ovarian Cancer Treatment

Michael J. Birrer, MD, PhD
Published: Monday, Jan 23, 2012

Michael J. Birrer, MD, PhD, director, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, gynecologic medical oncology, discusses the 3 main treatment options available for women with platinum sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer, which he defines as having recurred greater than 6 months after their last platinum treatment.

The current standard of care for platinum sensitive ovarian cancer includes 1 of 3 platinum doublets, each demonstrating a survival benefit in randomized trial.

The first doublet contains a combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel (Taxol), this was investigated in the ICON4 trial, which demonstrated a median 13 month progression-free survival (PFS) and a 29 month overall survival (OS).

The second doublet contains a combination of carboplatin and gemcitabine. This was demonstrated in the AGO-OVAR study with a median PFS of 8.6 months, which was the primary endpoint. The OS benefit was not deemed statistically significant.

The third doublet is the most recently discovered; it contains a combination of carboplatin and Doxil. This study demonstrated a survival benefit that was similar to the carboplatin and Taxol combination. This new combination therapy is preferred because it is less toxic than the other doublets. Once the Doxil shortage is resolved it will most likely become the favored standard of care for many physicians.

Michael J. Birrer, MD, PhD, director, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, gynecologic medical oncology, discusses the 3 main treatment options available for women with platinum sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer, which he defines as having recurred greater than 6 months after their last platinum treatment.

The current standard of care for platinum sensitive ovarian cancer includes 1 of 3 platinum doublets, each demonstrating a survival benefit in randomized trial.

The first doublet contains a combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel (Taxol), this was investigated in the ICON4 trial, which demonstrated a median 13 month progression-free survival (PFS) and a 29 month overall survival (OS).

The second doublet contains a combination of carboplatin and gemcitabine. This was demonstrated in the AGO-OVAR study with a median PFS of 8.6 months, which was the primary endpoint. The OS benefit was not deemed statistically significant.

The third doublet is the most recently discovered; it contains a combination of carboplatin and Doxil. This study demonstrated a survival benefit that was similar to the carboplatin and Taxol combination. This new combination therapy is preferred because it is less toxic than the other doublets. Once the Doxil shortage is resolved it will most likely become the favored standard of care for many physicians.


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