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1.  Clinical relevance of extent of extreme drug resistance in epithelial ovarian carcinoma 
Gynecologic oncology  2009;116(1):61-65.
To evaluate the clinical significance of the extent of extreme drug resistance (EDR) in in-vitro drug resistance assays in advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian, and primary peritoneal cancers.
A retrospective study was conducted using the database for in-vitro drug resistance assay (EDR Assay®, Oncotech, Inc.) results for advanced stage ovarian cancer samples obtained at primary surgery between 1995 and 2009. In-vitro drug resistance assay results were evaluated for thirteen drugs according to the following two groups: platinum and taxane (primary treatment group) vs remaining agents (secondary treatment group). Dual-resistance was then defined as at least one EDR in the primary and secondary treatment groups. Chemotherapy response and survival outcome were correlated with assay results.
There were 253 cases identified. Dual-resistance (n=53, 20.9%) was not associated with chemotherapy response (p=0.62) or survival outcomes (PFS, p=0.52; OS, p=0.11). Only one (0.4%) case exhibited complete EDR to all tested drugs, and 74 (29.4%) cases showed no EDR. There was no statistical correlation between total number of drugs in the EDR range and chemotherapy response (p=0.55), progression-free survival (PFS) (p=0.18), and overall survival (OS) (p=0.87). Proportion of EDR, defined as the ratio of the number of EDR drugs divided by all drugs for an individual patient, was also not related to chemotherapy response (p=0.37), PFS (p=0.13), or OS (p=0.13).
Presence of extreme drug resistance to multiple agents in the in-vitro drug resistance assays was not associated with survival outcomes in advanced stage epithelial ovarian, fallopian, and primary peritoneal cancers.
PMCID: PMC4162425  PMID: 19840886
in vitro drug resistance assay; extreme drug resistance; chemotherapy; ovarian cancer
2.  Ovarian cancer (advanced) 
BMJ Clinical Evidence  2009;2009:0816.
Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. The 5-year relative survival rate in the UK at diagnosis for women aged 15-39 years is nearly 70%. In comparison, it is only 12% for women diagnosed aged over 80 years.
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of surgical treatments for ovarian cancer that is advanced at first presentation? What are the effects of platinum-based chemotherapy for ovarian cancer that is advanced at first presentation? What are the effects of taxane-based chemotherapy for ovarian cancer that is advanced at first presentation? What are the effects of intraperitoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer that is advanced at first presentation? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to September 2007 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically, please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
We found 31 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: adding taxanes to platinum-based chemotherapy, carboplatin plus a taxane, cisplatin plus a taxane, combination or single-agent platinum-based chemotherapy, docetaxel, intravenous and intraperitoneal chemotherapy, interval debulking, paclitaxel, primary surgery, and second-look surgery.
Key Points
Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the UK. Incidence rises with age, and peaks in the seventh and eighth decades of life.Risk factors include family history of ovarian cancer, increasing age, and low parity. Risks are reduced by using the oral contraceptive pill for more than 5 years, tubal ligation, hysterectomy, breastfeeding, increased age at menarche, decreased age at menopause, and use of NSAIDs.In the UK, the 5-year relative survival rate at diagnosis for women aged 15-39 years is nearly 70%. In comparison, it is only 12% for women diagnosed over 80 years of age.
Standard treatment for advanced ovarian cancer is primary surgical debulking, followed by chemotherapy. We found no direct evidence on the effects of primary surgery versus no surgery, or primary surgery plus chemotherapy versus surgery or chemotherapy alone.Although we found no direct evidence, subgroup analysis comparing groups by the degree to which maximal surgical debulking was acheived or not, suggests that maximal surgical cytoreduction at primary surgery is strongly associated with improved survival in advanced ovarian cancer.Subsequent debulking and second-look surgery seem unlikely to improve survival, especially if initial surgery achieved optimal cytoreduction.
Platinum-based regimens are now standard first-line chemotherapy and have been shown to be beneficial in prolonging survival compared with non-platinum-based regimens. Platinum compounds seem to be the main beneficial agent, with little additional survival benefit from adding non-platinum (excluding taxanes) chemotherapeutic agents to platinum. Carboplatin is as effective as cisplatin in prolonging survival, but with less-severe adverse effects.
Taxanes may increase survival if added to platinum chemotherapy compared with platinum-based regimens alone, but studies have given conflicting results. One RCT suggests paclitaxel is as effective at prolonging survival as docetaxel when combined with a platinum drug.
Platinum-based chemotherapy can also be delivered directly into the intraperitoneal cavity, as well as by the intravenous route.
We found limited evidence that intraperitoneal platinum-based chemotherapy may increase survival compared with intravenous administration but at the cost of increased adverse effects, both those associated with the use of an intraperitoneal catheter and from increased doses of chemotherapy. Any benefit seen with intraperitoneal rather than intravenous administration may be due to different chemotherapy doses, rather than the route of administration.
Limited evidence suggests that consolidation treatment given intraperitoneally does not confer any survival benefit compared with no further treatment in women who have undergone primary surgery and chemotherapy and who have no disease at second-look laparotomy. However, consolidation treatment may be associated with increased adverse effects.
PMCID: PMC2907795  PMID: 19445772
3.  Optimal chemotherapy treatment for women with recurrent ovarian cancer 
Current Oncology  2007;14(5):195-208.
What is the optimal chemotherapy treatment for women with recurrent ovarian cancer who have previously received platinum-based chemotherapy?
Currently, standard primary therapy for advanced disease involves a combination of maximal cytoreductive surgery and chemotherapy with carboplatin plus paclitaxel or with carboplatin alone. Despite initial high response rates, a large proportion of patients relapse, resulting in a therapeutic challenge. Because these patients are not curable, the goal of therapy becomes improvement in both quality and length of life. The search has therefore been to find active agents for women with recurrent disease following platinum-based chemotherapy.
Outcomes of interest included any combination of tumour response rate, progression-free survival, overall survival, adverse events, and quality of life.
The medline, embase, and Cochrane Library databases were systematically searched for primary articles and practice guidelines. The resulting evidence informed the development of clinical practice recommendations. The systematic review and recommendations were approved by the Report Approval Panel of the Program in Evidence-Based Care, and by the Gynecology Cancer Disease Site Group (dsg). The practice guideline was externally reviewed by a sample of practitioners from Ontario, Canada.
Thirteen randomized trials compared various chemotherapy regimens for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer.
In five of the thirteen trials in which 100% of patients were considered sensitive to platinum-containing chemotherapy, further platinum-based combination chemotherapy significantly improved response rates (two trials), progression-free survival (four trials), and overall survival (three trials) when compared with single-agent chemotherapy involving carboplatin or paclitaxel. Only two of these randomized trials compared the same chemotherapy regimens: carboplatin alone versus the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel. Both trials were consistent in reporting improved survival outcomes with the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel. In one trial, the combination of carboplatin and gemcitabine resulted in significantly higher response rates and improved progression-free survival when compared with carboplatin alone. Median survival with carboplatin alone ranged from 17 months to 24 months in four trials.
In eight of the thirteen trials in which 35%–100% of patients had platinum-refractory or -resistant disease, one trial reported a statistically significant 2-month improvement in overall survival with liposomal doxorubicin as compared with topotecan (15 months vs. 13 months, p = 0.038; hazard ratio: 1.23; 95% confidence interval: 1.01 to 1.50). In that trial, because of the limited clinical benefit and the unusual finding that a survival difference emerged only after a year of treatment with no corresponding improvement in the rate of response or of progression-free survival, the authors concluded that further confirmation by results from randomized trials were needed to establish the superiority of one agent over another in their trial. In one trial, topotecan was superior to treosulphan in patient progression-free survival by a span of approximately 2 months (5.4 months vs. 3.0 months, p < 0.001).
Toxicity was reported in all of the randomized trials, and although data on adverse events varied by treatment regimen, the observed adverse events correlated with known toxicity profiles. As expected, combination chemotherapy was associated with higher rates of adverse events.
Practice Guideline
Target Population
This clinical recommendation applies to women with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer who have previously received platinum-based chemotherapy. Of specific interest are women who have previously shown sensitivity to platinum therapy and those who previously were refractory or resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy. As a general categorization within what is actually a continuum, “platinum sensitivity” refers to disease recurrence 6 months or more after prior platinum-containing chemotherapy, and “platinum resistance” refers to a response to platinum-based chemotherapy followed by relapse less than 6 months after chemotherapy is stopped. “Platinum-refractory disease” refers to a lack of response or to progression while on platinum-based chemotherapy.
Although the body of evidence that informs the clinical recommendations is based on randomized trial data, those data are incomplete. Based on the available data and expert consensus opinion, the Gynecology Cancer dsg makes these recommendations:
Systemic therapy for recurrent ovarian cancer is not curative. It is therefore recognized that each patient must be individually assessed to determine optimal therapy in terms of recurrence, sensitivity to platinum, toxicity, ease of administration, and patient preference. All suitable patients should be offered the opportunity to participate in randomized trials, if available.
In the absence of contraindications, combination platinum-based chemotherapy should be considered for patients with prior sensitivity to platinum-containing chemotherapy. As compared with carboplatin alone, the combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel significantly improved both progression-free and overall survival.
If combination platinum-based chemotherapy is not indicated, then a single platinum agent should be considered. Carboplatin has demonstrated efficacy across trials and has a manageable toxicity profile.
If a single platinum agent is not being considered, then monotherapy with paclitaxel, topotecan, or pegylated liposomal doxorubicin are seen as reasonable treatment options.
Some patients may be repeatedly sensitive to treatment and may benefit from multiple lines of chemotherapy.
For patients with platinum-refractory or platinum-resistant disease, the goals of treatment should be to improve quality of life by extending the symptom-free interval, by reducing symptom intensity, and by increasing progression-free interval, and, if possible, to prolong life.
With non-platinum agents, monotherapy should be considered because no advantage appears to accrue to the use of non-platinum-containing combination chemotherapy in this group of patients. Single-agent paclitaxel, topotecan, or pegylated liposomal doxorubicin have demonstrated activity in this patient population and are reasonable treatment options.
No evidence either supports or refutes the use of more than one line of chemotherapy in patients with platinum-refractory or platinum-resistant recurrence. Many treatment options have shown modest response rates, but their benefits over best supportive care have not been studied in clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2002482  PMID: 17938703
Chemotherapy; drug therapy; ovarian cancer; ovarian neoplasms; practice guideline; systematic review
4.  Specific kinesin expression profiles associated with taxane resistance in breast cancer 
Breast cancer is a genetically heterogenous disease with subtypes differing in prognosis and chemosensitivity. The basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) molecular subtype is associated with poorer outcomes, but is more responsive to taxane-based chemotherapy, which is used in multiple settings of breast cancer. Kinesins are intracellular transport proteins that interact with microtubules, which are also the mechanistic target for taxanes. We investigated the relationship between taxane resistance in BLBC and kinesins using both expression and functional studies.
Kinesin (KIF) expression was evaluated in three settings in relation to taxane resistance: (i) the NCI-60 cancer cell lines, (ii) pre-treatment samples from four BLBC patient cohorts receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimens with and without taxanes, and (iii) post-treatment samples from residual breast cancer following neoadjuvant taxane-containing chemotherapy. We used a novel functional approach to gene modification, validation-based insertional mutagenesis, to select kinesin-overexpressing clones of BLBC cells for evaluation of related mechanisms of taxane resistance.
In the NCI-60 cell line dataset, overexpression of the kinesin KIFC3 is significantly correlated with resistance to both docetaxel (p<0.001) and paclitaxel (p<0.001), but not to platinum-based chemotherapy, including carboplatin (p=0.49) and cisplatin (p=0.10). Overexpression of KIFC3 and KIF5A in pre-chemotherapy samples similarly predicted resistance to paclitaxel in the MDACC cohorts (p=0.01); no KIF predicted resistance to fluorouracil-epirubicin-cyclophosphamide or cisplatin in BLBC patient cohorts treated without taxanes. KIF12 is the most overexpressed KIF gene in post-chemotherapy taxane-resistant residual breast cancers (2.8 fold-change). Functional studies established that overexpression of KIFC3, KIF5A and KIF12 were specific in mediating resistance to docetaxel and not vincristine or doxorubicin. We demonstrated that mutation of the ATP-binding domain of a kinesin abolishes its ability to mediate docetaxel resistance.
We show that kinesin overexpression correlates with specific taxane resistance in BLBC cell lines and tissue. Our results suggest a novel approach to overcoming taxane resistance in breast cancer through concurrent or sequential use of kinesin inhibitors, highlighting the ATP-binding domain as a drug development target.
PMCID: PMC4038085  PMID: 21479552
5.  Therapeutic strategies in epithelial ovarian cancer 
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. It appears that the vast majority of what seem to be primary epithelial ovarian and primary peritoneal carcinomas is, in fact, secondary from the fimbria, the most distal part of the fallopian tube.
Treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer is based on the combination of cytoreductive surgery and combination chemotherapy using taxane and platinum. Although clear cell type is categorized in indolent type, it is known to show relatively strong resistance to carboplatin and paclitaxel regimen and thus poor prognosis compared to serous adenocarcinoma, especially in advanced stages. Irinotecan plus cisplatin therapy may effective for the clear cell adenocarcinoma.
The larger expectation for improved prognosis in ovarian carcinoma is related to the use of the new biological agents. One of the most investigated and promising molecular targeted drugs in ovarian cancer is bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody directed against VEGF. PARP inhibitor is another one. A few recent studies demonstrated positive results of bevacizumab on progression-free survival in ovarian cancer patients, however, investigation of molecular targeting drugs in patients with ovarian cancer are still underway.
PMCID: PMC3309949  PMID: 22330607
Review; ovarian cancer; conventional treatment; novel treatment; clear cell carcinoma; bevacizumab; PARP inhibitor
6.  Chemotherapy Resistance as a Predictor of Progression-Free Survival in Ovarian Cancer Patients Treated with Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Surgical Cytoreduction Followed by Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy: A Southwest Oncology Group Study 
Oncology  2010;77(6):395-399.
In vitro testing of the activity of chemotherapeutic agents has been suggested as 1 method to optimally select drugs for patients with ovarian cancer. There are limited prospectively obtained data examining the clinical utility of this approach. We sought to obtain a preliminary assessment of this strategy in a trial that examined the administration of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgical cytoreduction and intraperitoneal chemotherapy in women with advanced ovarian cancer.
Women with stage III/IV epithelial ovarian carcinoma that presented with large-volume disease were treated with neoadjuvant intravenous paclitaxel and carboplatin for three 21-day cycles followed by cytoreductive surgery. If optimally debulked, patients received intravenous paclitaxel, intraperitoneal carboplatin and intraperitoneal paclitaxel for six 28-day cycles. Tumor cloning assay results (Oncotech) were correlated with progression-free survival.
Sixty-two patients (58 eligible) were registered from March 2001 to February 2006. Thirty-six eligible patients had interval debulking and 26 received postcytoreduction chemotherapy. Twenty-two patients had tumor cloning assay results available. The clinical features of this population were similar to those of the larger group of women who entered this study. There was no difference in progression-free survival between patients whose cancers were defined as ‘resistant’ or ‘nonresistant’ to either platinum or paclitaxel.
While the small patient numbers in this trial do not permit definitive conclusions, these data fail to provide support for the argument that prospectively obtained in vitro data regarding platinum or paclitaxel resistance will be highly predictive of clinical outcome in advanced ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC2837883  PMID: 20130422
Paclitaxel; Carboplatin; Ovarian cancer; Cytoreduction; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
7.  Resistance to cisplatin and paclitaxel does not affect the sensitivity of human ovarian cancer cells to antiprogestin-induced cytotoxicity 
Antiprogestin compounds have been shown to be effective in blocking the growth of ovarian cancer cells of different genetic backgrounds. Herein we studied the anti-ovarian cancer effect of a series of antiprogestins sharing the chemical backbone of the most characterized antiprogestin, mifepristone, but with unique modifications in position C-17 of the steroid ring. We assessed the effect of mifepristone-like antiprogestins on the growth of ovarian cancer cells sensitive to the standard combination therapy cisplatin-paclitaxel or made double-resistant upon six cycles of pulse-selection with the drugs used at clinically relevant concentrations and exposure times.
IGROV-1 and SKOV-3 cells were pulsed with 20 μM cisplatin for 1 h followed by 100 nM paclitaxel for 3 h once a week for six weeks. The cells that did not die and repopulate the culture after the chemotherapies were termed Platinum-Taxane-EScape cells (PTES). Parental cells were compared against their PTES derivatives in their responses to further platinum-taxane treatments. Moreover, both ovarian cancer cells and their PTES siblings were exposed to escalating doses of the various antiprogestin derivatives. We assessed cell growth, viability and sub-G1 DNA content using microcapillary cytometry. Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21cip1 and p27kip1 and cleavage of downstream caspase-3 substrate PARP were used to assess whether cell fate, as a consequence of treatment, was limited to cytostasis or progressed to lethality.
Cells subjected to six pulse-selection cycles of cisplatin-paclitaxel gave rise to sibling derivatives that displayed ~2-7 fold reduction in their sensitivities to further chemotherapy. However, regardless of the sensitivity the cells developed to the combination cisplatin-paclitaxel, they displayed similar sensitivity to the antiprogestins, which blocked their growth in a dose-related manner, with lower concentrations causing cytostasis, and higher concentrations causing lethality.
Antiprogestins carrying a backbone similar to mifepristone are cytotoxic to ovarian cancer cells in a manner that does not depend on the sensitivity the cells have to the standard ovarian cancer chemotherapeutics, cisplatin and paclitaxel. Thus, antiprogestin therapy could be used to treat ovarian cancer cells showing resistance to both platinum and taxanes.
PMCID: PMC4007005  PMID: 24795781
Ovarian cancer; Chemoresistance; Antiprogestins
8.  Distinct genetic alterations occur in ovarian tumor cells selected for combined resistance to carboplatin and docetaxel 
Current protocols for the treatment of ovarian cancer include combination chemotherapy with a platinating agent and a taxane. However, many patients experience relapse of their cancer and the development of drug resistance is not uncommon, making successful second line therapy difficult to achieve. The objective of this study was to develop and characterize a cell line resistant to both carboplatin and docetaxel (dual drug resistant ovarian cell line) and to compare this cell line to cells resistant to either carboplatin or docetaxel.
The A2780 epithelial endometrioid ovarian cancer cell line was used to select for isogenic carboplatin, docetaxel and dual drug resistant cell lines. A selection method of gradually increasing drug doses was implemented to avoid clonal selection. Resistance was confirmed using a clonogenic assay. Changes in gene expression associated with the development of drug resistance were determined by microarray analysis. Changes in the expression of selected genes were validated by Quantitative Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (QPCR) and immunoblotting.
Three isogenic cell lines were developed and resistance to each drug or the combination of drugs was confirmed. Development of resistance was accompanied by a reduced growth rate. The microarray and QPCR analyses showed that unique changes in gene expression occurred in the dual drug resistant cell line and that genes known to be involved in resistance could be identified in all cell lines.
Ovarian tumor cells can acquire resistance to both carboplatin and docetaxel when selected in the presence of both agents. Distinct changes in gene expression occur in the dual resistant cell line indicating that dual resistance is not a simple combination of the changes observed in cell lines exhibiting single agent resistance.
PMCID: PMC3541348  PMID: 23194409
Ovarian cancer; Multidrug resistance; Carboplatin; Docetaxel; Microarray analysis; A2780 cell line
9.  A phase I dose-finding study of a combination of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil), carboplatin and paclitaxel in ovarian cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(9):1379-1384.
Standard chemotherapy for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer is a combination of platinum-paclitaxel. One strategy to improve the outcome for patients is to add other agents to standard therapy. Doxil is active in relapsed disease and has a response rate of 25% in platinum-resistant relapsed disease. A dose finding study of doxil-carboplatin-paclitaxel was therefore undertaken in women receiving first-line therapy. Thirty-one women with epithelial ovarian cancer or mixed Mullerian tumours of the ovary were enrolled. The doses of carboplatin, paclitaxel and doxil were as follows: carboplatin AUC 5 and 6; paclitaxel, 135 and 175 mg m−2; doxil 20, 30, 40 and 50 mg m−2. Schedules examined included treatment cycles of 21 and 28 days, and an alternating schedule of carboplatin-paclitaxel (q 21) with doxil being administered every other course (q 42). The dose-limiting toxicities were found to be neutropenia, stomatitis and palmar plantar syndrome and the maximum tolerated dose was defined as; carboplatin AUC 5, paclitaxel 175 mg m−2 and doxil 30 mg m−2 q 21. Reducing the paclitaxel dose to 135 mg m−2 did not allow the doxil dose to be increased. Delivering doxil on alternate cycles at doses of 40 and 50 mg m−2 also resulted in dose-limiting toxicities. The recommended doses for phase II/III trials are carboplatin AUC 6, paclitaxel 175 mg m−2, doxil 30 mg m−2 q 28 or carboplatin AUC 5, paclitaxel 175 mg m−2, doxil 20 mg m−2 q 21. Grade 3/4 haematologic toxicity was common at the recommended phase II doses but was short lived and not clinically important and non-haematologic toxicities were generally mild and consisted of nausea, paraesthesiae, stomatitis and palmar plantar syndrome.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1379–1384. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600250
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2375380  PMID: 11986767
ovarian cancer; liposomal doxorubicin; carboplatin; paclitaxel
10.  Inhibition of Notch Signaling in Combination with Paclitaxel Reduces Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Tumor Growth 
Frontiers in Oncology  2014;4:171.
Introduction: Ovarian cancer (OvCa) is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy in the United States because of chemoresistant recurrent disease. Our objective was to investigate the efficacy of inhibiting the Notch pathway with a γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) in an OvCa patient-derived xenograft model as a single agent therapy and in combination with standard chemotherapy.
Methods: Immunocompromised mice bearing xenografts derived from clinically platinum-sensitive human ovarian serous carcinomas were treated with vehicle, GSI (MRK-003) alone, paclitaxel and carboplatin (P/C) alone, or the combination of GSI and P/C. Mice bearing platinum-resistant xenografts were given GSI with or without paclitaxel. Gene transcript levels of the Notch pathway target Hes1 were analyzed using RT-PCR. Notch1 and Notch3 protein levels were evaluated. The Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to assess significance between the different treatment groups.
Results: Expression of Notch1 and 3 was variable. GSI alone decreased tumor growth in two of three platinum-sensitive ovarian tumors (p < 0.05), as well as in one of three platinum-sensitive tumors (p = 0.04). The combination of GSI and paclitaxel was significantly more effective than GSI alone and paclitaxel alone in all platinum-resistant ovarian tumors (all p < 0.05). The addition of GSI did not alter the effect of P/C in platinum-sensitive tumors. Interestingly, although the response of each tumor to chronic GSI exposure did not correlate with its endogenous level of Notch expression, GSI did negatively affect Notch signaling in an acute setting.
Conclusion: Inhibiting the Notch signaling cascade with a GSI reduces primary human xenograft growth in vivo. GSI synergized with conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy only in the platinum-resistant OvCa models with single agent paclitaxel. These findings suggest inhibition of the Notch pathway in concert with taxane therapy may hold promise for treatment of platinum-resistant OvCa.
PMCID: PMC4083224  PMID: 25072022
ovarian cancer; Notch; γ-secretase inhibitor; chemoresistance; patient-derived xenograft
11.  Role of Farletuzumab in Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma 
Current pharmaceutical design  2012;18(25):3812-3815.
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal of the gynecologic malignancies, largely due to the advanced stage at diagnosis in most patients. Standard treatment for EOC is surgical debulking followed by platinum-based chemotherapy. While the majority of ovarian cancer patients will respond to initial chemotherapy, most will ultimately relapse. The major focus of current clinical trials for treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer is the use of targeted biologic agents.
Folate receptor alpha (FRα) is upregulated in majority of EOC and correlated with tumor stage and grade. It is hypothesized that the presence of overexpressed FRα correlates with the propagation rate of the tumors. FRα is largely absent from normal tissue, making it an attractive therapeutic target. Farletuzumab (MORAb-003), a humanized monoclonal antibody against FRα, has shown antitumor activity in preclinical xenograft models. A Phase 1 dose escalation study did not demonstrate dose-limiting toxicities, or severe adverse effects. A phase 2 efficacy and safety study of farletuzumab with carboplatin and taxane in patients with platinum-sensitive EOC in first relapse, have shown an improved response rate and time to progression compared with historical controls. Recently, preliminary safety data from a phase 1 trial reported that the combination of farletuzumab, carboplatin and PLD has an acceptable safety profile in patients with platinum-sensitive EOC following first or second relapse.
Two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 studies with farletuzumab plus chemotherapy have been done. A trial of: farletuzumab with weekly paclitaxel in platinum-resistant EOC closed in December 2011 with full report pending. A second trial of farletuzumab with carboplatin and taxane in platinum-sensitive EOC in first relapse is slated to complete accrual in early 2012. Results from these trials will help define the role of farletuzumab in EOC.
PMCID: PMC3576870  PMID: 22591419
farletuzumab; epithelial ovarian cancer
12.  ATP-Based Chemotherapy Response Assay in Primary or Recurrent Ovarian and Peritoneal Cancer 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;55(6):1664-1671.
To investigate chemosensitivity with an adenosine triphosphate-based chemotherapy response assay in patients with epithelial ovarian or peritoneal cancer according to tumor histology, grade, and disease status.
Materials and Methods
One hundred specimens were collected during primary or secondary debulking from 67 patients with primary ovarian cancer, 24 patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, 5 patients with primary peritoneal cancer, and 4 patients with recurrent peritoneal cancer; samples were collected between August 2006 and June 2009. Tumor cells were isolated and cultured for 48 hours in media containing chemotherapy. The chemosensitivity index (CI) was calculated as 300 minus the sum of the cell death rate at 0.2×, 1×, and 5× drug concentrations, and the CI values were compared.
CI values were obtained from 93 of 100 patients. The most active agents against primary disease were ifosfamide and paclitaxel. For primary serous adenocarcinoma, paclitaxel and irinotecan were the most active, followed by ifosfamide. For clear cell carcinoma, ifosfamide was the most active, followed by paclitaxel and irinotecan. Although not statistically significant, the CIs of cisplatin, carboplatin, paclitaxel, and docetaxel decreased as tumor grade increased. In 14 cases of recurrent disease, paclitaxel was the most active, followed by ifosfamide and cisplatin.
Ifosfamide and paclitaxel were the most active drugs for primary and recurrent disease. Therefore, we recommend further clinical studies to confirm the efficacy of paclitaxel, ifosfamide, and cisplatin combination chemotherapy for recurrent and primary ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC4205709  PMID: 25323906
Adenosine triphosphate; cell death; drug therapy; combination; ovarian cancer
13.  Expression of RET finger protein predicts chemoresistance in epithelial ovarian cancer 
Cancer Medicine  2012;1(2):218-229.
Resistance to platinum- and taxane-based chemotherapy is a major cause of treatment failure in ovarian cancer. Thus, it is necessary to develop a predictive marker and molecular target for overcoming drug resistance in ovarian cancer treatment. In a previous report, using an in vitro model, we found that the RET finger protein (RFP) (also known as tripartite motif-containing protein 27, TRIM27) confers cancer cell resistance to anticancer drugs. However, the significance of RFP expression in cancer patients remains elusive. In this study, we showed that RFP was expressed in 62% of ovarian cancer patients and its positivity significantly correlated with drug resistance. Consistent with clinical data, depletion of RFP by RNA interference (RNAi) in ovarian cancer cell lines, SKOV3 and HEY, significantly increased carboplatin- or paclitaxel-induced apoptosis and resulted in reduced anticancer drug resistance. In a nude mouse tumor xenograft model, inoculated RFP-knockdown ovarian cancer cells exhibited lower carboplatin resistance than control cells. These findings suggest that RFP could be a predictive marker for chemoresistance in ovarian cancer patients and also a candidate for a molecular-targeted agent.
PMCID: PMC3544444  PMID: 23342271
Carboplatin; chemoresistance; epithelial ovarian cancer; paclitaxel; RET finger protein
14.  Comparing Medical Cost of Care for Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer Receiving Taxane Therapy: Claims Analysis 
American Health & Drug Benefits  2010;3(4):276-284.
It has been estimated that more than $8 billion is spent annually on the management of breast cancer in the United States. The taxane chemotherapeutic agents are cornerstones in the treatment of breast cancer, yet no study has assessed whether the choice of a taxane affects the economic outcomes of metastatic breast cancer treatment.
To determine if differences exist in the medical cost of care in patients receiving taxane-based chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer, and to compare the use of ancillary medications (for neutropenia, anemia, and nausea and vomiting) and their associated costs among taxanes.
We identified women with metastatic breast cancer based on diagnosis codes and the women's previous adjuvant chemotherapeutic regimens. Paid medical insurance claims were captured for the 24-month study period, from January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2007. The groups were determined according to the specific taxane administered. Total medical costs were captured from the date of first taxane administration to the end of data availability. Outpatient pharmacy costs were not available. A multivariate analysis was used to evaluate the total medical costs in each group. Median total medical costs per patient per month during the study period were adjusted using a multiple regression analysis. Utilization and cost of medications administered in the office or hospital for chemotherapy-induced adverse effects were captured and adjusted with Tobit models.
Of the 2245 study participants, 1035 received docetaxel, 997 received generic paclitaxel, and 213 received nab-paclitaxel. On average, patients in the nab-paclitaxel group received more doses (9.6) than those in the generic paclitaxel (6.0) or docetaxel (4.8) groups. The multivariate analysis was robust, explaining 72% of the variability in total medical costs across the 3 taxane groups. Median per-patient per-month total medical costs for study participants were within approximately $800 of each other among the groups. Generic paclitaxel had the lowest total medical costs. The total costs for docetaxel and nab-paclitaxel were not significantly different. Nab-paclitaxel had the lowest utilization and lowest costs associated with colony-stimulating factors. The proportion of patients receiving erythropoiesis-stimulating agents was not significantly different among the 3 drugs, but the costs for these agents were significantly lower in patients receiving nab-paclitaxel than in those receiving docetaxel. Antiemetic use was highest in the docetaxel group, but the costs for antiemetics were not different among the 3 taxane groups.
The differences in total medical costs among the 3 taxanes were modest. Total medical costs were lowest for patients receiving generic paclitaxel and comparable between the docetaxel and nab-paclitaxel groups. Patients taking nab-paclitaxel received more doses than patients taking the other taxanes. Nab-paclitaxel was associated with lower utilization and costs for colony-stimulating factors compared with generic paclitaxel and docetaxel.
PMCID: PMC4106600  PMID: 25126321
15.  YY1 modulates taxane response in epithelial ovarian cancer 
Molecular cancer research : MCR  2009;7(2):210-220.
Survival of ovarian cancer patients is largely dictated by their response to chemotherapy, which depends on underlying molecular features of the malignancy. We previously identified YIN YANG 1 (YY1) as a gene whose expression is positively correlated with ovarian cancer survival. Herein we investigated the mechanistic basis of this association.
Experimental design
Epigenetic and genetic characteristics of YY1 in serous epithelial ovarian cancer (SEOC) were analyzed along with YY1 mRNA and protein. Patterns of gene expression in primary SEOC and in the NCI60 database were investigated using computational methods. YY1 function and modulation of chemotherapeutic response in vitro was studied using siRNA knockdown.
Microarray analysis showed strong positive correlation between expression of YY1 and genes with YY1 and transcription factor E2F binding motifs in SEOC and in the NCI60 cancer cell lines. Clustering of microarray data for these genes revealed that high YY1/E2F3 activity positively correlates with survival of patients treated with the microtubule stabilizing drug paclitaxel. Increased sensitivity to taxanes, but not to DNA crosslinking platinum agents, was also characteristic of NCI60 cancer cell lines with a high YY1/E2F signature. YY1 knockdown in ovarian cancer cell lines results in inhibition of anchorage-independent growth, motility and proliferation, but also increases resistance to taxanes, with no effect on cisplatin sensitivity.
These results, together with the prior demonstration of augmentation of microtubule-related genes by E2F3, suggest that enhanced taxane sensitivity in tumors with high YY1/E2F activity may be mediated by modulation of putative target genes with microtubule function.
PMCID: PMC2675878  PMID: 19208743
YIN YANG 1; ovarian cancer; taxanes
16.  Resistance to Paclitaxel in a Cisplatin-Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cell Line Is Mediated by P-Glycoprotein 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40717.
The IGROVCDDP cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cell line is also resistant to paclitaxel and models the resistance phenotype of relapsed ovarian cancer patients after first-line platinum/taxane chemotherapy. A TaqMan low-density array (TLDA) was used to characterise the expression of 380 genes associated with chemotherapy resistance in IGROVCDDP cells. Paclitaxel resistance in IGROVCDDP is mediated by gene and protein overexpression of P-glycoprotein and the protein is functionally active. Cisplatin resistance was not reversed by elacridar, confirming that cisplatin is not a P-glycoprotein substrate. Cisplatin resistance in IGROVCDDP is multifactorial and is mediated in part by the glutathione pathway and decreased accumulation of drug. Total cellular glutathione was not increased. However, the enzyme activity of GSR and GGT1 were up-regulated. The cellular localisation of copper transporter CTR1 changed from membrane associated in IGROV-1 to cytoplasmic in IGROVCDDP. This may mediate the previously reported accumulation defect. There was decreased expression of the sodium potassium pump (ATP1A), MRP1 and FBP which all have been previously associated with platinum accumulation defects in platinum-resistant cell lines. Cellular localisation of MRP1 was also altered in IGROVCDDP shifting basolaterally, compared to IGROV-1. BRCA1 was also up-regulated at the gene and protein level. The overexpression of P-glycoprotein in a resistant model developed with cisplatin is unusual. This demonstrates that P-glycoprotein can be up-regulated as a generalised stress response rather than as a specific response to a substrate. Mechanisms characterised in IGROVCDDP cells may be applicable to relapsed ovarian cancer patients treated with frontline platinum/taxane chemotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3394717  PMID: 22792399
17.  Targeted treatment of folate receptor-positive platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and companion diagnostics, with specific focus on vintafolide and etarfolatide 
Among the gynecological malignancies, ovarian cancer is the leading cause of mortality in developed countries. Treatment of ovarian cancer is based on surgery integrated with chemotherapy. Platinum-based drugs (cisplatin and carboplatin) comprise the core of first-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Platinum-resistant ovarian cancer can be treated with cytotoxic chemotherapeutics such as paclitaxel, topotecan, PEGylated liposomal doxorubicin, or gemcitabine, but many patients eventually relapse on treatment. Targeted therapies based on agents specifically directed to overexpressed receptors, or to selected molecular targets, may be the future of clinical treatment. In this regard, overexpression of folate receptor-α on the surface of almost all epithelial ovarian cancers makes this receptor an excellent “tumor-associated antigen”. With appropriate use of spacers/linkers, folate-targeted drugs can be distributed within the body, where they preferentially bind to ovarian cancer cells and are released inside their target cells. Here they can exert their desired cytotoxic function. Based on this strategy, 12 years after it was first described, a folate-targeted vinblastine derivative has now reached Phase III clinical trials in ovarian cancer. This review examines the importance of folate targeting, the state of the art of a vinblastine folate-targeted agent (vintafolide) for treating platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, and its diagnostic companion (etarfolatide) as a prognostic agent. Etarfolatide is a valuable noninvasive diagnostic imaging agent with which to select ovarian cancer patient populations that may benefit from this specific targeted therapy.
PMCID: PMC3917542  PMID: 24516337
vintafolide; etarfolatide; platinum-resistant ovarian cancer; targeted therapy; biomarkers; folate receptor
18.  Mifepristone prevents repopulation of ovarian cancer cells escaping cisplatin-paclitaxel therapy 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:200.
Advanced ovarian cancer is treated with cytoreductive surgery and combination platinum- and taxane-based chemotherapy. Although most patients have acute clinical response to this strategy, the disease ultimately recurs. In this work we questioned whether the synthetic steroid mifepristone, which as monotherapy inhibits the growth of ovarian cancer cells, is capable of preventing repopulation of ovarian cancer cells if given after a round of lethal cisplatin-paclitaxel combination treatment.
We established an in vitro approach wherein ovarian cancer cells with various sensitivities to cisplatin or paclitaxel were exposed to a round of lethal doses of cisplatin for 1 h plus paclitaxel for 3 h. Thereafter, cells were maintained in media with or without mifepristone, and short- and long-term cytotoxicity was assessed.
Four days after treatment the lethality of cisplatin-paclitaxel was evidenced by reduced number of cells, increased hypodiploid DNA content, morphological features of apoptosis, DNA fragmentation, and cleavage of caspase-3, and of its downstream substrate PARP. Short-term presence of mifepristone either enhanced or did not modify such acute lethality. Seven days after receiving cisplatin-paclitaxel, cultures showed signs of relapse with escaping colonies that repopulated the plate in a time-dependent manner. Conversely, cultures exposed to cisplatin-paclitaxel followed by mifepristone not only did not display signs of repopulation following initial chemotherapy, but they also had their clonogenic capacity drastically reduced when compared to cells repopulating after cisplatin-paclitaxel.
Cytostatic concentrations of mifepristone after exposure to lethal doses of cisplatin and paclitaxel in combination blocks repopulation of remnant cells surviving and escaping the cytotoxic drugs.
PMCID: PMC3381704  PMID: 22642877
19.  Future Scenarios for the Treatment of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: Focus on Taxane-Containing Regimens 
The Oncologist  2010;15(10):1102-1112.
This review evaluates the available evidence and explores the role and importance of various modern chemotherapy regimens in the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer, with the aim of optimizing treatment selection and combination with biological agents.
Despite recent progress in the development of new molecularly targeted agents, the chemotherapy regimens considered standard at the end of the last century—that is, two-drug combinations consisting of either cisplatin or carboplatin plus a third-generation agent (docetaxel, paclitaxel, gemcitabine, or vinorelbine)—remain the primary treatment option for advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Most recently, the existing standard of care has been amended to reflect the significant survival advantage of cisplatin–pemetrexed over cisplatin–gemcitabine as first-line treatment of nonsquamous NSCLC. The addition of a biological drug (bevacizumab, cetuximab) or the use of a single-agent epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor may further improve outcomes in selected patients.
It has become increasingly clear, primarily through recent meta-analyses, that although the therapeutic equivalence of any combination of a platinum agent plus either gemcitabine, vinorelbine, docetaxel, or paclitaxel has been long accepted, each regimen has different side effects and therapeutic outcomes that allow clinicians to select the most appropriate treatment for chemotherapy-naïve patients with stage IIIB/IV NSCLC. In this review, we evaluate the available evidence and explore the role and importance of various modern chemotherapy regimens, with the aim of optimizing treatment selection and combination with biological agents. Emphasis is placed on the role of taxanes (docetaxel versus paclitaxel) in this changing landscape.
PMCID: PMC3227896  PMID: 20930102
Non-small cell lung carcinoma; Chemotherapy; Docetaxel; Treatment algorithm
20.  Epirubicin, Cisplatin, and Capecitabine for Primary Platinum-Resistant or Platinum-Refractory Epithelial Ovarian Cancer 
Supplemental digital content is available in the text.
Primary platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is an area of unmet medical need. There is limited evidence from small studies that platinum-based combinations can overcome “resistance” in a proportion of patients. We investigated the efficacy and toxicity of platinum-based combination chemotherapy in the platinum-resistant and platinum-refractory setting.
Epirubicin, cisplatin, and capecitabine (ECX) combination chemotherapy was used at our institution for the treatment of relapsed EOC. From the institutional database, we identified all patients with primary platinum-refractory or platinum-resistant relapse treated with ECX as second-line therapy between 2001 and 2012. We extracted demographic, clinical, treatment, and toxicity data and outcomes. We used logistic and Cox regression models to identify predictors of response and survival respectively.
Thirty-four 34 patients (8 refractory, 26 resistant) were treated with ECX. Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST) response rate was 45%, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6.4 months, and overall survival (OS) was 10.6 months. Platinum-resistant patients had better outcomes than did platinum-refractory patients (response rate, 54% vs 0%, P = 0.047; PFS 7.2 vs 1.8 months, P < 0.0001; OS 14.4 vs 3 months, P < 0.001). In regression models, time to progression after first-line treatment and platinum-refractory status were the strongest predictors of response and PFS or OS, respectively. Patients with time to progression after first-line treatment longer than 3 months showed PFS and OS of 7.9 and 14.7 months, respectively. Toxicity was manageable, with only 13% of cycles administered at reduced doses.
Epirubicin, cisplatin, and capecitabine seems to be active in platinum-resistant relapsed EOC with manageable toxicity. Further prospective investigation of platinum-anthracycline combinations is warranted in patients who relapse 3 to 6 months after first-line platinum-taxane treatment.
PMCID: PMC4485738  PMID: 25962114
Ovarian cancer; Platinum refractory; Platinum resistant; Chemotherapy
21.  Multi-Gene Expression Predictors of Single Drug Responses to Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Ovarian Carcinoma: Predicting Platinum Resistance 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30550.
Despite advances in radical surgery and chemotherapy delivery, ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynecologic malignancy. Standard therapy includes treatment with platinum-based combination chemotherapies yet there is no biomarker model to predict their responses to these agents. We here have developed and independently tested our multi-gene molecular predictors for forecasting patients' responses to individual drugs on a cohort of 55 ovarian cancer patients. To independently validate these molecular predictors, we performed microarray profiling on FFPE tumor samples of 55 ovarian cancer patients (UVA-55) treated with platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy. Genome-wide chemosensitivity biomarkers were initially discovered from the in vitro drug activities and genomic expression data for carboplatin and paclitaxel, respectively. Multivariate predictors were trained with the cell line data and then evaluated with a historical patient cohort. For the UVA-55 cohort, the carboplatin, taxol, and combination predictors significantly stratified responder patients and non-responder patients (p = 0.019, 0.04, 0.014) with sensitivity = 91%, 96%, 93 and NPV = 57%, 67%, 67% in pathologic clinical response. The combination predictor also demonstrated a significant survival difference between predicted responders and non-responders with a median survival of 55.4 months vs. 32.1 months. Thus, COXEN single- and combination-drug predictors successfully stratified platinum resistance and taxane response in an independent cohort of ovarian cancer patients based on their FFPE tumor samples.
PMCID: PMC3277593  PMID: 22348014
22.  Pharmacokinetics of combination chemotherapy with paclitaxel and carboplatin in a patient with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer undergoing hemodialysis 
Oncology Letters  2010;1(3):511-513.
Few reports delineate the pharmacokinetics of combination chemotherapy with paclitaxel and carboplatin in hemodialysis (HD) patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. However, the optimal carboplatin dose and the timing of HD have yet to be elucidated. We presented a case of an advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer patient with chronic renal failure requiring HD. After 4 courses of combination chemotherapy consisting of paclitaxel and carboplatin, a partial response was obtained; therefore, she underwent interval debulking surgery. Paclitaxel was administered for 3 h at a dose of 150 mg/m2, and carboplatin was administered for 1 h at a dose of 4–7 area under the concentration/time curve (AUC), which was calculated by the Calvert formula. HD was initiated 24 h after the start of administration of carboplatin and performed for a period of 3 h. Pharmacokinetic studies showed that the AUCs of free platinum and paclitaxel were 3.48–5.55 mg·min/ml and 13.5 μg·h/ml, respectively. Combination chemotherapy consisting of paclitaxel and carboplatin is a feasible approach to improving the treatment outcome of epithelial ovarian cancer patients with chronic renal failure requiring HD. The measurement of free platinum is useful in determining the optimal dose of carboplatin in order to obtain an adequate AUC. Determining the dose of carboplatin according to the Calvert formula and initiating HD after 24 h would ensure a favorable therapeutic effect with limited side effects.
PMCID: PMC3436453  PMID: 22966334
epithelial ovarian cancer; carboplatin; paclitaxel; hemodialysis
23.  Chemotherapy-induced dynamic gene expression changes in vivo are prognostic in ovarian cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2014;110(12):2975-2984.
The response of ovarian cancer patients to carboplatin and paclitaxel is variable, necessitating identification of biomarkers that can reliably predict drug sensitivity and resistance. In this study, we sought to identify dynamically controlled genes and pathways associated with drug response and its time dependence.
Gene expression was assessed for 14 days post-treatment with carboplatin or carboplatin–paclitaxel in xenografts from two ovarian cancer models: platinum-sensitive serous adenocarcinoma-derived OV1002 and a mixed clear cell/endometrioid carcinoma-derived HOX424 with reduced sensitivity to platinum.
Tumour volume reduction was observed in both xenografts, but more dominantly in OV1002. Upregulated genes in OV1002 were involved in DNA repair, cell cycle and apoptosis, whereas downregulated genes were involved in oxygen-consuming metabolic processes and apoptosis control. Carboplatin–paclitaxel triggered a more comprehensive response than carboplatin only in both xenografts. In HOX424, apoptosis and cell cycle were upregulated, whereas Wnt signalling was inhibited. Genes downregulated after day 7 from both xenografts were predictive of overall survival. Overrepresented pathways were also predictive of outcome.
Late expressed genes are prognostic in ovarian tumours in a dynamic manner. This longitudinal gene expression study further elucidates chemotherapy response in two models, stressing the importance of delayed biomarker detection and guiding optimal timing of biopsies.
PMCID: PMC4056064  PMID: 24867692
ovarian cancer; carboplatin; paclitaxel; xenograft; prognosis
24.  Withaferin A Alone and in Combination with Cisplatin Suppresses Growth and Metastasis of Ovarian Cancer by Targeting Putative Cancer Stem Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(9):e107596.
Currently, the treatment for ovarian cancer entails cytoreductive surgery followed by chemotherapy, mainly, carboplatin combined with paclitaxel. Although this regimen is initially effective in a high percentage of cases, unfortunately within few months of initial treatment, tumor relapse occurs because of platinum-resistance. This is attributed to chemo-resistance of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Herein we show for the first time that withaferin A (WFA), a bioactive compound isolated from the plant Withania somnifera, when used alone or in combination with cisplatin (CIS) targets putative CSCs. Treatment of nude mice bearing orthotopic ovarian tumors generated by injecting human ovarian epithelial cancer cell line (A2780) with WFA and cisplatin (WFA) alone or in combination resulted in a 70 to 80% reduction in tumor growth and complete inhibition of metastasis to other organs compared to untreated controls. Histochemical and Western blot analysis of the tumors revealed that inclusion of WFA (2 mg/kg) resulted in a highly significant elimination of cells expressing CSC markers - CD44, CD24, CD34, CD117 and Oct4 and downregulation of Notch1, Hes1 and Hey1 genes. In contrast treatment of mice with CIS alone (6 mg/kg) had opposite effect on those cells. Increase in cells expressing CSC markers and Notch1 signaling pathway in tumors exposed to CIS may explain recurrence of cancer in patients treated with carboplatin and paclitaxel. Since, WFA alone or in combination with CIS eliminates putative CSCs, we conclude that WFA in combination with CIS may present more efficacious therapy for ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC4180068  PMID: 25264898
25.  A phase II evaluation of nanoparticle, albumin-bound (nab) paclitaxel) in the treatment of recurrent or persistent platinum-resistant ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer: A Gynecologic Oncology Group Study 
Gynecologic oncology  2011;122(1):111-115.
Nab-paclitaxel is a novel Cremophor®-free nanoparticle of albumin-stabilized paclitaxel, which has favorable efficacy and toxicity characteristics relative to other solvent-based taxanes, such as paclitaxel and docetaxel.
Eligible patients had platinum- and taxane-resistant ovarian cancer, defined by persistent or progressive disease following primary chemotherapy (n=5) or recurrence within six months of treatment completion (n=42). All patients had measurable disease, no prior therapy for recurrent disease and Gynecologic Oncology Group performance status of ≤ 2. Treatment was nab-paclitaxel, 100 mg/m2 days 1,8,15 on a 28-day schedule. The primary endpoint was Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors v1.0 response rate, evaluated in a 2-stage design (with power of 0.90 for a RR of 25% and with alpha of 0.05 for RR of 10%).
Fifty-one patients were enrolled of which 47 were evaluable; median time from frontline therapy completion to registration was 21 days. Patient demographics include median age: 59 (34–78) years, serous histology: 72%, and high-grade: 81%. Efficacy: One complete and 10 partial responses were confirmed (23%); 17 patients (36%) had stable disease. The median progression-free survival was 4.5 months (95%CI: 2.2–6.7); overall survival was 17.4 months (95%CI: 13.2–20.8). Seventeen patients (36%) had PFS>six months. Toxicity: there were no grade 4 events; grade 3 events were neutropenia (6), anemia (3), GI (2), metabolic (2), pain (2), and leukopenia (1); neurosensory toxicity was observed as grade 2:5, grade 3:1.
Nab-paclitaxel has noteworthy single-agent activity and is tolerable in this cohort of refractory ovarian cancer patients previously treated with paclitaxel.
PMCID: PMC3104117  PMID: 21497382
ovarian cancer; fallopian tube cancer; primary peritoneal cancer; platinum-resistant; taxane-resistant; nab-paclitaxel

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