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Sunday 01 February 2004

Dose finding study for combination treatment with topotecan and gemcitabine of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer after failure of first-line chemotherapy with Paclitaxel and platinum.

By: Sehouli J, Stengel D, Oskay G, Blohmer J, Kaubitzsch S, Lichtenegger W; Ovarian Cancer Study Group of the Nord-Ostdeutsche Gesellschaft fur Gynakologische Onkologie (NOGGO).

Onkologie 2004 Feb;27(1):58-64

OBJECTIVES: Topotecan and gemcitabine have shown mono-activity against different solid tumors including recurrent ovarian cancer after failure of platinum- and paclitaxel-containing therapies. Both drugs affect DNA replication, topotecan additionally inhibits the DNA repair process. Efficacy profiles and different mechanisms of action make the combination of both drugs a promising regimen. Therefore the following dose-finding study was conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and the dose-limiting toxicities (DLT) of this combination. Based on the monotherapy schedules topotecan was given on day 1-5, and gemcitabine on day 1 + 8 every 21 days. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with histologically proven ovarian cancer who relapsed after platinum- and paclitaxel-containing therapy were enrolled. 3 different dose levels were investigated. No individual dose escalation or primary use of cytokines were allowed. RESULTS: 23 patients were enrolled, 50% were pretreated with at least 2 platinum-containing therapies; 80 courses were analyzed for toxicity. Thrombocytopenia and leucopenia were the major DLTs. The MTD for phase II trials is 0.50 mg/m(2) topotecan and 800/600 mg/m(2) gemcitabine. In this dose level only one therapy-related non-hematological adverse event >grade 2 (grade 3 mycotic stomatitis) and one grade 4 thrombocytopenia occurred. Responses were observed in 6 and stable disease in 4 out of 12 evaluable patients. Median survival was 15.3 (95% CI: 13.2-28.6) months. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this phase I study demonstrate the feasibility and tolerability of this new combination in heavily pretreated patients. Based on these results a phase II study was initiated to evaluate the efficacy of this regimen. Copyright 2004 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg

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