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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 15

of 'Taxane-induced pulmonary toxicity'

A phase II feasibility study of carboplatin followed by sequential weekly paclitaxel and gemcitabine as first-line treatment for ovarian cancer.
Harries M, Moss C, Perren T, Gore M, Hall G, Everard M, A'Hern R, Gibbens I, Jenkins A, Shah R, Cole C, Pizzada O, Kaye S
Br J Cancer. 2004;91(4):627.
A total of 53 women with chemotherapy-naïve stage Ic-IV ovarian cancer were treated with four cycles of carboplatin area under the curve 7 every 3 weeks, followed by four cycles of paclitaxel 70 mg m(-2) (days 1, 8, and 15) and gemcitabine 1000 mg m(-2) (days 1 and 8) every 3 weeks. In all, 37 (70%) had stage III/IV disease, with 22 (42%) having tumour>2 cm; 38 patients (72%) completed all planned treatment; 27 of the 32 (84%) patients with radiologically evaluable disease had partial or complete responses; and 30 of the 39 patients (77%) with elevated cancer antigen (CA) 125 had a greater than 75% fall in this value. At a median follow-up of 28 months, 31 patients had relapsed with a median progression-free survival of 19.5 months. In total, 79% of patients were alive at 2 years. Common Toxicity Criteria grade 3/4 haematological toxicity, predominantly neutropenia, was seen in 57% of the patients. A certain degree of pulmonary toxicity was observed; eight patients had symptomatic breathlessness, +/- decreased diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide, and interstitial chest X-ray changes during the weekly phase. In all cases, this toxicity was reversible. No significant neurotoxicity was seen. This regimen is generally well tolerated with encouraging efficacy. However, the observation of pulmonary toxicity, potentially a feature of the weekly taxane-gemcitabine regimen, was of some concern. Alternative schedules, including 3-weekly taxanes, are currently being evaluated.
Section of Medicine, Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital, Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PT, London, UK.