Chemotherapy for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer previously treated with platinum--a systematic review of the evidence from randomized trials.
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the chemotherapeutic options for women with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer who have received platinum-based chemotherapy. METHODS: A systematic search of the Medline, CancerLit and Cochrane Library databases was performed for the period from 1984 to June 2001 to find randomized trials comparing second- or higher-line chemotherapy regimens in patients with recurrent platinum-pretreated epithelial ovarian cancer. RESULTS: Seven randomized trials have failed to demonstrate the clear superiority of any one chemotherapy regimen in terms of improvements in long-term survival, quality of life or response rate. One trial detected a statistically significant difference between treatments in progression-free survival, which was longer with cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/cisplatin than with paclitaxel in women with platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer. Another trial did not show a difference between liposomal doxorubicin and topotecan overall in women with recurrent ovarian cancer but a subgroup analysis detected a significant survival advantage for liposomal doxorubicin over topotecan in women with platinum-sensitive disease. CONCLUSION: The evidence available does not support firm conclusions about the preferred chemotherapy regimen for recurrent ovarian cancer. Randomized trials that compare new drugs with current standard treatments are needed.
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