Abstract. Wu CH, Yang CH, Lee JN, Hsu SC, Tsai EM. Weekly and monthly regimens of paclitaxel and carboplatin in the management of advanced ovarian cancer. A preliminary report on side effects.
This preliminary study was carried out over 18 months to evaluate whether the side effects in patients with advanced ovarian cancer receiving chemotherapy using paclitaxel-carboplatin differed between weekly (98 cycles in 14 patients) and monthly (102 cycles in 15 patients) administrations. We used paclitaxel (60 mg/m2) and carboplatin (AUC of 2) in the weekly regimen and 175 mg/m2 of paclitaxel and carboplatin (AUC of 6) in the monthly regimen. All eligible patients received at least four cycles of treatment in both regimens. The results revealed significantly decreased hematological toxicity in weekly regimens relative to monthly ones, ie, 7.1% vs. 18.6% of anemia (≥ grade 2), 7.1% vs. 32.3% of grade 3/4 granulocytopenia, and 0% vs. 15.7% of >grade 2 thrombocytopenia. There was no significant difference in nonhematological toxicities between the two regimens. The incidence of unscheduled events was much less in the weekly regimen than in the monthly one; ie, delayed treatment (3 vs. 18 events), unanticipated hospitalizations (3 vs. 15 times), and supplemental support with G-CSF (7 vs. 33 times). Complete responses were observed in 6 of 14 patients in the weekly regimen and in five of 15 patients in the monthly regimen, while partial responses were seen in four and five patients in the weekly and monthly regimens, respectively. The present results demonstrate that the weekly regimen can achieve the benefits of tolerable toxicity with significantly reduced myelosuppression and improved cost-effectiveness in terms of unscheduled events.