Objectives: Most patients with ovarian cancer are candidates for second-line or salvage treatments often for prolonged periods. Patients with platinum-sensitive disease can benefit from a platinum retreatment with a likelihood of response dependents on the treatment-free interval. Alternative agents and combination chemotherapy are potential therapeutic approaches. At our institution, we carried out a phase II trial to evaluate feasibility, efficacy, and toxicity of gemcitabine and vinorelbine combination in recurrent ovarian carcinoma. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the role of this combination in patients with platinum-sensitive disease.
Patients and Methods: Patients with platinum-sensitive disease recurring after 1 or more lines of platinum-based chemotherapy were included. Vinorelbine at 25 mg/m2 followed by gemcitabine at 1000 mg/m2 was administered intravenously on days 1 and 8 every 3 weeks. Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors and cancer antigen 125 test (CA-125 Kinetics [Rustin criteria]) were adopted to classify responses. Toxicity was assessed according to the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria.
Results: Thirty-nine patients were eligible. Platinum-free interval (PFI) was 6 to 12 months in 13 patients (33.3%; PFI 6-12) and more than 12 months in 26 patients (66.7%; PFI > 12). The overall response rate was 48.7%, with 6 complete responses. Median response duration was 38 weeks. The response rate was 23% in PFI 6-12 and 62% in PFI >12. The most frequently observed toxicity was hematological, with 23% of the patients having grade 3 or 4 neutropenia.
Conclusions: Gemcitabine and vinorelbine combination is effective and well tolerated in recurrent platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. It may represent an option in the management of these patients because the chronic nature of the disease.