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1.  Phase II study of continuous infusional 5-fluorouracil with epirubicin and carboplatin (instead of cisplatin) in patients with metastatic/locally advanced breast cancer (infusional ECarboF): a very active and well-tolerated outpatient regimen. 
British Journal of Cancer  1996;73(3):391-396.
Infusional 5-fluorouracil (F) with cisplatin (C) and epirubicin (E), so-called infusional ECF, is a highly active new schedule against locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Cisplatin, however, is a major contributor to toxicity and usually requires inpatient treatment. In an attempt to overcome this, we have investigated the effect of substituting carboplatin for cisplatin in our original infusional ECF regimen. Fifty-two patients with metastatic (n = 36) or locally advanced/inflammatory (n = 16) breast cancer were treated with 5-fluorouracil 200 mg m-2 day-1 via a Hickman line using an ambulatory pump for for 6 months, with epirubicin 50 mg m-2 intravenously (i.v.) and carboplatin AUC5 i.v. every 4 weeks, for six courses (infusional ECarboF). The overall response rate (complete plus partial) was 81% (95% CI 67%-90%), with a complete response rate of 17% (95% CI 6-33%) in patients with metastatic disease and 56% (95% CI 30-80%) in patients with locally advanced disease. Median response duration and survival for metastatic disease was 8 and 14 months respectively, and two patients with locally advanced disease have relapsed. These results are very similar to those previously achieved with infusional ECF. Severe grade 3/4 toxicity was low. Infusional ECarboF is a highly active, well-tolerated, outpatient regimen effective against advanced/metastatic breast cancer and now warrants evaluation against conventional chemotherapy in high-risk early breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC2074421  PMID: 8562348
2.  A randomized phase II study of carboplatin plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin versus carboplatin plus paclitaxel in platinum sensitive ovarian cancer patients: a Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group study 
BMC Medicine  2010;8:3.
Platinum-based combinations are the standard second-line treatment for platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer (OC). This randomized phase II study was undertaken in order to compare the combination of carboplatin and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (LD) with carboplatin and paclitaxel (CP) in this setting.
Patients with histologically confirmed recurrent OC, at the time of or more than 6 months after platinum-based chemotherapy, were randomized to six cycles of CP (carboplatin AUC5 + paclitaxel 175 mg/m2, d1q21) or CLD (carboplatin AUC5 + pegylated LD 45 mg/m2, d1q28).
A total of 189 eligible patients (CP 96, CLD 93), with a median age of 63 years, median Performance Status (PS) 0 and a median platinum free interval (PFI) of 16.5 months, entered the study. Discontinuation due to toxicity was higher in the CP patients (13.5% versus 3%, P = 0.016). The overall response rate was similar: CP 58% versus CLD 51%, P = 0.309 (Complete Response; CR 34% versus 23%) and there was no statistical difference in time-to-progression (TTP) or overall survival (OS; TTP 10.8 months CP versus 11.8 CLD, P = 0.904; OS 29.4 months CP versus 24.7 CLD, P = 0.454). No toxic deaths were recorded. Neutropenia was the most commonly seen severe toxicity (CP 30% versus CLD 35%). More frequent in CLD were severe thrombocytopenia (11% versus 2%, P = 0.016), skin toxicity and Palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE) grade 1-2 (38% versus 9%, P< 0.001), while grade 3 neurotoxicity and alopecia were higher in CP (7% versus 0%, P = 0.029, 20% versus 5%, P = 0.003). PS and PFI were independent prognostic factors for TTP and OS.
The combination of pegylated LD with carboplatin is effective, showing less neurotoxicity and alopecia than paclitaxel-carboplatin. It thus warrants a further phase III evaluation as an alternative treatment option for platinum-sensitive OC patients.
Trial Registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12609000436279
PMCID: PMC2823653  PMID: 20055981
3.  A phase I pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic study of BGC9331 and carboplatin in relapsed gynaecological malignancies 
British Journal of Cancer  2005;93(8):868-875.
BGC9331 is a rationally designed, specific nonpolyglutamatable thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibitor that is active in gynaecological malignancies. In the light of the sensitivity of human ovarian tumour cell lines to BGC9331 and non-cross resistance to platinum drugs, we studied the combination BGC9331/carboplatin (BCA) in a phase I (PI) pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) study in platinum pretreated gynaecological malignancies. Patients were ⩾18 years or over, with a histologically confirmed gynaecological malignancy, radiological evidence of relapse, and a platinum treatment free interval of at least 6 months. Up to three prior lines of chemotherapy were permitted. Carboplatin (AUC5) and BGC9331 were administered on day 1, and BGC9331 was also given on day 8 of a 21-day cycle. In total, 14 patients were enrolled, and treated with BGC9331 at four dose levels, 40, 65, 85 and 100 mg m−2. The principal grade 3 and 4 haematological toxicity was neutropaenia. The principal nonhaematological toxicities were lethargy and nausea. Dose-limiting toxicities were seen in two patients at 100 mg m−2 BGC9331 (grade 4 neutropaenia >7 days, and grade 4 fatigue >7 days). Plasma BGC9331 was measured by an ELISA that was adapted for use in humans. Carboplatin was assayed by flameless atomic absorption spectrometry. There was no PK interaction between the two drugs. Plasma deoxyuridine was elevated indicating TS inhibition to at least day 12. Antitumour activity was observed in four out of 14 (28%) of patients. In conclusion, the combination of BGC9331 and carboplatin is well tolerated with no significant PK interaction between the two drugs. There is evidence of TS inhibition with the combination. We have demonstrated antitumour activity in platinum pretreated gynaecological malignancy. Further exploration of this combination in this disease is warranted.
PMCID: PMC2361661  PMID: 16222320
4.  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
Gynecologic oncology  2007;108(1):90-94.
Because debate continues over the role of combination, platinum-based chemotherapy for platinum sensitive (PS), recurrent ovarian cancer (OC), we compared overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), confirmed complete response rate and time to treatment failure in this population.
Patients with recurrent stage III or IV OC, a progression-free and platinum-free interval of 6- 24 months after first-line platinum-based chemotherapy and up to 12 courses of a non-platinum containing consolidation treatment were eligible. Patients were randomized to IV pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD) (30 mg/m2) plus IV carboplatin (AUC=5 mg/mL × min) once every 4 weeks (PLD arm) or IV carboplatin alone (AUC=5mg/mL × min) once every 4 weeks.
The PLD arm enrolled 31 patients and the carboplatin alone arm 30 for a total of 61 patients out of 900 planned. Response rates were 67% for the PLD arm and 32% for the carboplatin only arm (Fisher’s exact p=0.02). The estimated median PFS was 12 and 8 months for PLD versus carboplatin alone. The estimated median OS on the PLD arm was 26 months and 18 months on the carboplatin only arm (p=0.02). Twenty-six percent of the patients on the PLD arm reported grade 4 toxicities, all hematological in nature.
This study was closed early because of slow patient accrual. The response rate, median PFS and OS results are intriguing. These data suggest that there may be an advantage to the PLD plus carboplatin combination treatment in patients with PS, recurrent OC. The regimen should be further tested.
PMCID: PMC2276605  PMID: 17949799
6.  Cell Line Derived Multi-Gene Predictor of Pathologic Response to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer: A Validation Study on US Oncology 02-103 Clinical Trial 
BMC Medical Genomics  2012;5:51.
The purpose of this study is to assess the predictive accuracy of a multi-gene predictor of response to docetaxel, 5-fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide combination chemotherapy on gene expression data from patients who received these drugs as neoadjuvant treatment.
Tumor samples were obtained from patients with stage II-III breast cancer before starting neoadjuvant chemotherapy with four cycles of 5-fluorouracil/epirubicin/cyclophosphamide (FEC) followed by four cycles of docetaxel/capecitabine (TX) on US Oncology clinical trial 02-103. Most patients with HER-2-positive cancer also received trastuzumab (H). The chemotherapy predictor (TFEC-MGP) was developed from publicly available gene expression data of 42 breast cancer cell-lines with corresponding in vitro chemotherapy sensitivity results for the four chemotherapy drugs. No predictor was developed for treatment with trastuzumab. The predictive performance of TFEC-MGP in distinguishing cases with pathologic complete response from those with residual disease was evaluated for the FEC/TX and FEC/TX plus H group separately. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AU-ROC) was used as the metric of predictive performance. Genomic predictions were performed blinded to clinical outcome.
The AU-ROC was 0.70 (95% CI: 0.57-0.82) for the FEC/TX group (n=66) and 0.43 (95% CI: 0.20-0.66) for the FEC/TX plus H group (n=25). Among the patients treated with FEC/TX, the AU-ROC was 0.69 (95% CI: 0.52-0.86) for estrogen receptor (ER)-negative (n=28) and it was 0.59 (95% CI: 0.36-0.82) for ER-positive cancers (n=37). ER status was not reported for one patient.
Our results indicate that the cell line derived 291-probeset genomic predictor of response to FEC/TX combination chemotherapy shows good performance in a blinded validation study, particularly in ER-negative patients.
PMCID: PMC3536618  PMID: 23158478
Multi-gene predictor of chemosensitivity; Breast cancer; Cell lines
7.  Open-label feasibility study of pazopanib, carboplatin, and paclitaxel in women with newly diagnosed, untreated, gynaecologic tumours: a phase I/II trial of the AGO study group 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;106(4):629-632.
Although most patients with advanced gynaecologic malignancies respond to first-line treatment with platinum-taxane doublets, a significant proportion of patients relapse. Combining targeted agents that have non-overlapping mechanisms of action with chemotherapy may potentially increase the disease-free interval. Accordingly, this study evaluated the feasibility of combining pazopanib, an oral angiogenesis inhibitor, with paclitaxel and carboplatin.
This open-label, phase I/II study planned to evaluate the safety and efficacy of paclitaxel 175 mg m–2 plus carboplatin (AUC5 (Arm A) or AUC6 (Arm B)) once in every 3 weeks for up to six cycles with either 800 or 400 mg per day pazopanib.
Dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) were observed in two of the first six patients enrolled at pazopanib 800 mg plus paclitaxel 175 mg m–2 plus carboplatin AUC5. Of the six patients enrolled in the next and lowest dosing level planned in the study, pazopanib 400 mg plus paclitaxel 175 mg m–2 plus carboplatin AUC5, two patients also experienced DLTs and the study was terminated. Two of the 4 DLTs observed overall were gastrointestinal perforations. Severe myelotoxicity was reported in 6 of 12 patients.
Combining either 800 or 400 mg per day pazopanib with standard carboplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy is not a feasible treatment option.
PMCID: PMC3322958  PMID: 22240783
ovarian cancer; pazopanib; phase I study
8.  A phase II randomised clinical trial comparing cisplatin, paclitaxel and ifosfamide with cisplatin, paclitaxel and epirubicin in newly diagnosed advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: long-term survival analysis 
British Journal of Cancer  2008;98(4):720-727.
To test the feasibility and efficacy of epirubicin and ifosfamide added to first-line chemotherapy with cisplatin and paclitaxel in a phase II randomised clinical trial. Patients with histologically proven epithelial ovarian cancer were randomly assigned to receive first-line polychemotherapy with cisplatin/paclitaxel/epirubicin (CEP) or cisplatin/paclitaxel/ifosfamide (CIP) for six cycles every 21 days. Two hundred and eight patients were randomised between the two treatment arms and the median number of cycles per patient was six. Toxicity was predominantly haematological with both regimens; however, anaemia, leucopaenia, neutropaenic fever and use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factors and transfusion were significantly more frequent in the CIP treatment arm. Response rates were 85% (95% confidence interval (CI) 77–93%) in the CIP arm and 90% (95% CI 84–96%) in the CEP arm; complete response rates were 48 and 52%. After a median follow-up of 82 months, median overall survival (OS) was 51 and 65 months; 5-year survival rates were respectively 43 and 50%. In this clinical trial, both regimens showed good efficacy, but toxicity was heavier with the CIP regimen. Considering that more than 50% of patients were suboptimally debulked after the first surgery, OS seems to be longer than is commonly reported. This unexpected finding might be a consequence of the close surgical surveillance and aggressive chemotherapeutic approach.
PMCID: PMC2259172  PMID: 18253120
ovarian cancer; first-line chemotherapy; epirubicin; ifosfamide; triplets; long-term survival
9.  Redistribution of resistance and sensitivity to platinum during the observation period following treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer 
Molecular and Clinical Oncology  2013;2(2):212-218.
The standard postoperative chemotherapy for epithelial ovarian cancer is a combination therapy including platinum and taxanes. The aim this study was to investigate the degree of platinum sensitivity in patients with relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer according to the treatment-free interval (TFI) and the histological tumor type. The medical records of 405 patients diagnosed with stage III/IV ovarian cancer, including 107 patients who relapsed after attaining a clinical complete response with first-line treatment, were retrospectively reviewed. The degree of platinum sensitivity was assessed by comparing the progression-free survival (PFS) following the second-line treatment. In patients with serous/endometrioid adenocarcinoma who were treated with platinum following relapse, there were significant differences in the PFS between the following groups of patients: those who relapsed within 6 months and those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months; those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months and those who relapsed between 12 and 18 months; and those who relapsed between 12 and 18 months and those who relapsed after 18 months. By contrast, in patients with clear cell/mucinous adenocarcinoma who were treated with platinum following a relapse, there were no significant differences in the PFS between patients who relapsed within 6 months and those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months, while there were significant differences in the PFS between those who relapsed between 6 and 12 months and those who relapsed after 12 months. With regard to the patients who relapsed after 12 months, the PFS of those with clear cell/mucinous adenocarcinoma was significantly shorter compared with the PFS of those with serous/endometrioid adenocarcinoma. Therefore, we considered it justified to classify patients with clear cell/mucinous adenocarcinoma who relapsed within 12 months as platinum-resistant and those who relapsed after 12 months as platinum-sensitive.
PMCID: PMC3917783  PMID: 24649335
relapsed epithelial ovarian cancer; platinum sensitivity; treatment-free interval; progression-free interval; histological type
10.  Final overall survival results of phase III GCIG CALYPSO trial of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin and carboplatin vs paclitaxel and carboplatin in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients 
British Journal of Cancer  2012;107(4):588-591.
The CALYPSO phase III trial compared CD (carboplatin-pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD)) with CP (carboplatin-paclitaxel) in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent ovarian cancer (ROC). Overall survival (OS) data are now mature.
Women with ROC relapsing >6 months after first- or second-line therapy were randomised to CD or CP for six cycles in this international, open-label, non-inferiority trial. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival. The OS analysis is presented here.
A total of 976 patients were randomised (467 to CD and 509 to CP). With a median follow-up of 49 months, no statistically significant difference was observed between arms in OS (hazard ratio=0.99 (95% confidence interval 0.85, 1.16); log-rank P=0.94). Median survival times were 30.7 months (CD) and 33.0 months (CP). No statistically significant difference in OS was observed between arms in predetermined subgroups according to age, body mass index, treatment-free interval, measurable disease, number of lines of prior chemotherapy, or performance status. Post-study cross-over was imbalanced between arms, with a greater proportion of patients randomised to CP receiving post-study PLD (68%) than patients randomised to CD receiving post-study paclitaxel (43% P<0.001).
Carboplatin-PLD led to delayed progression and similar OS compared with carboplatin-paclitaxel in platinum-sensitive ROC.
PMCID: PMC3419956  PMID: 22836511
CALYPSO; pegylated liposomal doxorubicin; recurrent ovarian cancer; overall survival; platinum-sensitive; carboplatin; paclitaxel
11.  Treatment for Recurrent Ovarian Cancer—At First Relapse 
Journal of Oncology  2009;2010:497429.
Recurrent ovarian cancer is a lethal disease, and few patients can be cured. Although most patients receive standardized surgery and chemotherapy, the status of recurrent disease is heterogeneous. The site of recurrence and the survival intervals after recurrence are also widely distributed. Among a number of factors, many clinical trials identified time to recurrence was the factor most related to chemosensitivity at first relapse. The current recommendation for platinum sensitive ovarian cancer is a carboplatin containing combination chemotherapy. Generally, a single agent is chosen for platinum resistant ovarian cancer. Patients with single site recurrence and a long disease free interval are candidates for secondary cytoreduction, which may provide longer survival. There are several treatment choices at first relapse, and disease status, chemotherapy-free interval, and the patient's condition play a major role in the decision making process.
PMCID: PMC2801501  PMID: 20066162
12.  Residual neurotoxicity in ovarian cancer patients in clinical remission after first-line chemotherapy with carboplatin and paclitaxel: The Multicenter Italian Trial in Ovarian cancer (MITO-4) retrospective study 
BMC Cancer  2006;6:5.
Carboplatin/paclitaxel is the chemotherapy of choice for advanced ovarian cancer, both in first line and in platinum-sensitive recurrence. Although a significant proportion of patients have some neurotoxicity during treatment, the long-term outcome of chemotherapy-induced neuropathy has been scantly studied. We retrospectively assessed the prevalence of residual neuropathy in a cohort of patients in clinical remission after first-line carboplatin/paclitaxel for advanced ovarian cancer.
120 patients have been included in this study (101 participating in a multicentre phase III trial evaluating the efficacy of consolidation treatment with topotecan, and 19 treated at the National Cancer Institute of Naples after the end of the trial). All patients received carboplatin (AUC 5) plus paclitaxel (175 mg/m2) every 3 weeks for 6 cycles, completing treatment between 1998 and 2003. Data were collected between May and September 2004. Residual sensory and motor neurotoxicity were coded according to the National Cancer Institute – Common Toxicity Criteria.
55 patients (46%) did not experience any grade of neurological toxicity during chemotherapy and of these none had signs of neuropathy during follow-up. The other 65 patients (54%) had chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity during treatment and follow-up data are available for 60 of them. Fourteen out of 60 patients (23%) referred residual neuropathy at the most recent follow-up visit, after a median follow up of 18 months (range, 7–58 months): 12 patients had grade 1 and 2 patients grade 2 peripheral sensory neuropathy; 3 patients also had grade 1 motor neuropathy. The remaining 46/60 patients (77%) had no residual neuropathy at the moment of interview: recovery from neurotoxicity had occurred in the first 2 months after the end of chemotherapy in 22 (37%), between 2 and 6 months in 15 (25%), or after more than 6 months in 9 patients (15%). Considering all 120 treated patients, there was a 15% probability of persistent neurological toxicity 6 months after the end of chemotherapy.
A significant proportion of patients with advanced ovarian cancer treated with first-line carboplatin/paclitaxel suffer long-term residual neuropathy. This issue should be carefully taken into account before considering re-treatment with the same agents in sensitive recurrent disease.
PMCID: PMC1361775  PMID: 16398939
13.  Phase I study of epirubicin, cisplatin and capecitabine plus matuzumab in previously untreated patients with advanced oesophagogastric cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2008;99(6):868-874.
To evaluate the safety, tolerability, efficacy, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the humanised antiepidermal growth factor receptor monoclonal antibody matuzumab combined with epirubicin, cisplatin and capecitabine (ECX) in patients as first-line treatment for advanced oesophagogastric cancer that express epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). This was a phase I dose escalation study of matuzumab at 400 and 800 mg weekly and 1200 mg every 3 weeks combined with ECX (epirubicin 50 mg m−2, cisplatin 60 mg m−2 on day 1 and capecitabine 1000 mg m−2 daily). Patients were treated until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity or for a maximum of eight cycles. Twenty-one patients were treated with matuzumab at three different dose levels (DLs) combined with ECX. The main dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) was grade 3 lethargy at 1200 mg matuzumab every 3 weeks and thus 800 mg matuzumab weekly was the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD). Other common toxicities included rash, nausea, stomatitis and diarrhoea. Pharmacokinetic evaluation demonstrated that the coadministration of ECX did not alter the exposure of matuzumab. Pharmacodynamic studies on skin biopsies demonstrated inhibition of the EGFR pathway. Objective response rates of 65% (95% confidence interval (CI): 43–82), disease stabilisation of 25% (95% CI: 11–47) and a disease control rate (CR+PR+SD) of 90% were achieved overall. The MTD of matuzumab in combination with ECX was 800 mg weekly, and at this DL it was well-tolerated and showed encouraging antitumour activity. At the doses evaluated in serial skin biopsies, matuzumab decreased phosphorylation of EGFR and MAPK, and increased phosphorylation of STAT-3.
PMCID: PMC2538760  PMID: 19238629
oesophagogastric cancer; advanced; chemotherapy; anti-EGFR therapy; ECX
14.  Intensified dose of cyclophosphamide with G-CSF support versus standard dose combined with platinum in first-line treatment of advanced ovarian cancer a randomised study from the GINECO group 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(9):1200-1205.
ICON3 trial results have suggested that CAP and carboplatin–taxol regimens as first-line treatment of advanced ovarian cancer (AOC) yield similar survival. We explored the impact of increased dose of cyclophosphamide in a modified CAP regimen on the disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) of AOC patients. From February 1994 to June 1997, 164 patients were randomised to receive six cycles every 3 weeks of either standard CEP (S) combining cyclophosphamide (C), 500 mg m−2, epirubicin (E) 50 mg m−2, and cisplatin (P) 75 mg m−2 or intensive CEP (I) with E and P at the same doses, but with (C) 1800 mg m−2 and filgrastim 5 μg kg−1 per day × 10 days. Response was evaluated at second-look surgery. Patient characteristics were well balanced. Except for grade 3–4 neutropaenia (S: 54%, I: 38% of cycles), Arm1 presented a significantly more important toxicity: infection requiring antibiotics, grade 3–4 thrombocytopaenia, anaemia, nausea-vomiting, diarrhoea, mucositis. Median follow-up was 84 months. DFS (15.9 vs 14.8 months) and OS (33 vs 30 months) were not significantly different between S and I (P>0.05). Increasing cyclophosphamide dose by more than 3 times with filgrastim support in the modified CAP regimen CEP induces more toxicity but not better efficacy in AOC.
PMCID: PMC2360456  PMID: 17923867
advanced ovarian cancer; cyclophosphamide; high-dose chemotherapy; epirubicin; randomised trial
15.  A Phase II Evaluation of Belinostat and Carboplatin in the Treatment of Recurrent or Persistent Platinum-Resistant Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, or Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma: A Gynecologic Oncology Group Study 
Gynecologic Oncology  2012;125(2):367-371.
Patients with recurrent ovarian cancer have limited options, especially in the context of relapse less than six months from primary platinum-based therapy. This Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) study was conducted to evaluate the impact of the histone deacetylase inhibitor, belinostat, in combination with carboplatin in women with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
Eligible patients had measurable, recurrent disease within six months of their last dose of a platinum-based combination. Belinostat was dosed at 1,000 mg/m2 daily for five days with carboplatin AUC 5 on day three of 21-day cycles. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR), using a two-stage design.
Twenty-nine women enrolled on study and 27 were evaluable. The median number of cycles given was two (range 1–10). One patient had a complete response and one had a partial response, for an ORR of 7.4% (95% CI, .9% - 24.3%). Twelve patients had stable disease while eight had increasing disease. Response could not be assessed in five (18.5%). Grade 3 and 4 events occurring in more than 10% of treated patients were uncommon and limited to neutropenia (22.2%), thrombocytopenia (14.8%), and vomiting (11.1%). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 3.3 months and overall survival was 13.7 months. PFS of at least six months was noted in 29.6% of patients. Due to the lack of drug activity, the study was closed after the first-stage.
The addition of belinostat to carboplatin had little activity in a population with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
PMCID: PMC3330705  PMID: 22366594
platinum-resistant; chemotherapy; ovarian cancer; HIDAC inhibitors; carboplatin
16.  Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery and chemotherapy or by surgery and chemoradiotherapy for patients with resectable gastric cancer (CRITICS) 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:329.
Radical surgery is the cornerstone in the treatment of resectable gastric cancer. The Intergroup 0116 and MAGIC trials have shown benefit of postoperative chemoradiation and perioperative chemotherapy, respectively. Since these trials cannot be compared directly, both regimens are evaluated prospectively in the CRITICS trial. This study aims to obtain an improved overall survival for patients treated with preoperative chemotherapy and surgery by incorporating radiotherapy concurrently with chemotherapy postoperatively.
In this phase III multicentre study, patients with resectable gastric cancer are treated with three cycles of preoperative ECC (epirubicin, cisplatin and capecitabine), followed by surgery with adequate lymph node dissection, and then either another three cycles of ECC or concurrent chemoradiation (45 Gy, cisplatin and capecitabine). Surgical, pathological, and radiotherapeutic quality control is performed. The primary endpoint is overall survival, secondary endpoints are disease-free survival (DFS), toxicity, health-related quality of life (HRQL), prediction of response, and recurrence risk assessed by genomic and expression profiling. Accrual for the CRITICS trial is from the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, and more countries are invited to participate.
Results of this study will demonstrate whether the combination of preoperative chemotherapy and postoperative chemoradiotherapy will improve the clinical outcome of the current European standard of perioperative chemotherapy, and will therefore play a key role in the future management of patients with resectable gastric cancer.
Trial registration NCT00407186
PMCID: PMC3175221  PMID: 21810227
17.  A Phase II study of trabectedin single agent in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer previously treated with platinum-based regimens 
British Journal of Cancer  2007;97(12):1618-1624.
The objective of this study was to determine the objective response rate in patients with platinum-sensitive and platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer to treatment with trabectedin (Yondelis®) administered as a 3-h infusion weekly for 3 weeks of a 4-week cycle. We carried out a multicentre Phase II trial of trabectedin in patients with advanced recurrent ovarian cancer. Trabectedin (0.58 mg m−2) was administered via a central line, after premedication with dexamethasone, to 147 patients as a 3-h infusion weekly for 3 weeks followed by 1-week rest. Major eligibility criteria included measurable relapsed advanced ovarian cancer and not more than two prior platinum-containing regimens. Patients were stratified according to the treatment-free interval (TFI) between having either platinum-sensitive (⩾6 months TFI) or platinum-resistant disease (<6 months TFI)/platinum-refractory disease (progression during first line therapy). In the platinum-sensitive cohort, 62 evaluable patients with measurable disease had an overall response rate (ORR) of 29.0% (95% CI: 18.2–41.9%) and median progression-free survival (PFS) was 5.1 months (95% CI: 2.8–6.2). Four patients with measurable disease per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) criteria had no follow-up scans at the end of treatment. In the platinum-resistant/refractory cohort, 79 patients were evaluable with an ORR of 6.3% (95% CI: 2.1–14.2%). Median PFS was 2.0 months (95% CI: 1.7–3.5 months). Two patients with measurable disease per RECIST criteria had no follow-up scans at the end of treatment. The most frequent (⩾2% of patients) drug-related treatment-emergent grade 3/4 adverse events were reversible liver alanine transferase elevation (10%), neutropaenia (8%), nausea, vomiting, and fatigue (5% each). Trabectedin is an active treatment, with documented responses in patients with platinum sensitive advanced relapsed ovarian cancer, and has a manageable toxicity profile.
PMCID: PMC2360276  PMID: 18000504
trabectedin; ovarian cancer; overall response rate; platinum-sensitive; platinum-resistant; progression-free survival
18.  Chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer: four systematic meta-analyses of individual patient data from 37 randomized trials. Advanced Ovarian Cancer Trialists' Group. 
British Journal of Cancer  1998;78(11):1479-1487.
The purpose of this systematic study was to provide an up to date and reliable quantitative summary of the relative benefits of various types of chemotherapy (non-platinum vs platinum, single-agent vs combination and carboplatin vs cisplatin) in the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. Also, to investigate whether well-defined patient subgroups benefit more or less from cisplatin- or carboplatin-based therapy. Meta-analyses were based on updated individual patient data from all available randomized controlled trials (published and unpublished), including 37 trials, 5667 patients and 4664 deaths. The results suggest that platinum-based chemotherapy is better than non-platinum therapy, show a trend in favour of platinum combinations over single-agent platinum, and suggest that cisplatin and carboplatin are equally effective. There is no good evidence that cisplatin is more or less effective than carboplatin in any particular subgroup of patients.
PMCID: PMC2063202  PMID: 9836481
19.  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
20.  Treatment of relapse of small cell lung cancer in selected patients with the initial combination chemotherapy carboplatin, etoposide, and epirubicin. 
Thorax  1992;47(5):369-371.
BACKGROUND: Relapse of small cell lung cancer is not usually treated with further chemotherapy as results are considered to be disappointing. METHODS AND RESULTS: Six patients with relapse of small cell lung cancer after a complete initial response and remission of more than one year responded to repeat treatment with the initial chemotherapy comprising carboplatin, etoposide, and epirubicin. The second remission ranged from six months to more than 15 months. CONCLUSION: In patients with a relapse of small cell lung cancer after a complete initial response and prolonged remission retreatment with the initial combination chemotherapy cannot be dismissed and requires further study.
PMCID: PMC463753  PMID: 1319088
21.  A dose-finding study of carboplatin–epirubicin–docetaxel in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;86(9):1385-1390.
The docetaxel–carboplatin combination is active and well tolerated in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. We added epirubicin to this combination to investigate additional benefits of anthracyclines in epithelial ovarian cancer. Twenty-one patients, FIGO Ic-IV, performance status 0–1, were treated in four dose cohorts. Docetaxel was fixed at 75 mg m−2, carboplatin doses were AUC 4–5 and epirubicin doses were 50–60 mg m−2. Drugs were given on day 1, every 3 weeks, except in cohort 3, where epirubicin was given on day 8. Dexamethasone was given prophylactically. One dose-limiting toxicity occurred in cohorts 1, 2 and 4, two occurred in cohort 3. Complicated neutropenia occurred in two patients in cohorts 1 and 2 and one patient in cohorts 3 and 4. Two patients experienced grade III diarrhoea or stomatitis in cohort 1 and two in cohort 3. There were no treatment-related deaths. Grade II sensory neuropathy occurred in one patient. No cardiac toxicity or significant oedema was observed. The overall response rate was 36%, and 62% were CA125 responders. The predefined maximum tolerated dose was exceeded in cohort 3. The cohort 4 dose level (epirubicin 50 mg m−2, carboplatin AUC 4, docetaxel 75 mg m−2), warrants further study.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 86, 1385–1390. DOI: 10.1038/sj/bjc/6600259
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2375366  PMID: 11986768
docetaxel; epirubicin; carboplatin; advanced epithelial ovarian cancer; dose-finding study
22.  Outcome of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer treated with or without adjuvant trastuzumab in the Finland Capecitabine Trial (FinXX) 
Little information is available about survival outcomes of patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer treated with adjuvant capecitabine-containing chemotherapy with or without trastuzumab.
Patients and methods.
One thousand and five hundred patients with early breast cancer were entered to the Finland Capecitabine trial (FinXX) between January 2004 and May 2007, and were randomly assigned to receive either three cycles of adjuvant TX (docetaxel, capecitabine) followed by three cycles of CEX (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, capecitabine; TX-CEX) or three cycles of docetaxel followed by three cycles of CEF (cyclophosphamide, epirubicin, fluorouracil; T-CEF). The primary endpoint was recurrence-free survival (RFS). The study protocol was amended in May 2005 while study accrual was ongoing to allow adjuvant trastuzumab for patients with HER2-positive cancer. Of the 284 patients with HER2-positive cancer accrued to FinXX, 176 (62.0%) received trastuzumab after amending the study protocol, 131 for 12 months and 45 for nine weeks. The median follow-up time was 6.7 years.
Patients with HER2-positive cancer who received trastuzumab had better RFS than those who did not (five-year RFS 89.2% vs. 75.9%; HR 0.41, 95% CI 0.23–0.72; p = 0.001). Patients treated with trastuzumab for 12 months or nine weeks had similar RFS. There was no significant interaction between trastuzumab administration and the type of chemotherapy. Four (2.3%) patients treated with trastuzumab had heart failure or left ventricular dysfunction, three of these received capecitabine.
Adjuvant trastuzumab improves RFS of patients treated with TX-CEX or T-CEF. Few patients had cardiac failure.
PMCID: PMC3894716  PMID: 23957715
23.  Phase II Trial of Cetuximab and Carboplatin in Relapsed Platinum-Sensitive Ovarian Cancer and Evaluation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Expression: A Gynecologic Oncology Group Study 
Gynecologic oncology  2008;108(3):493-499.
This phase II trial assessed the activity and tolerability of cetuximab (C225, Erbitux) in combination with carboplatin in patients with relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian or primary peritoneal carcinoma.
Patients and Methods
Patients were to receive combination therapy with cetuximab (initial dose of 400 mg/m2 intravenously on cycle 1, day 1, followed by weekly infusions of 250 mg/m2) and carboplatin (AUC of 6 on day 1 and every 3 weeks). The primary objectives of this trial were to estimate the anti-tumor activity and adverse events of this combination therapy. Immunohistochemical expression of EGFR was evaluated in tumor specimens from patients enrolled in this trial.
Of the 29 patients, 28 (97%) were eligible and evaluable for analysis of the efficacy and toxicity of cetuximab administered in combination with carboplatin. Of the evaluable entries, 26 had EGFR-positive tumors and the response rate in this group of patients was as follows: 9 demonstrated an objective response (3 CR; 6 PR) and 8 had stable disease. The response rate did not meet criteria for opening a second stage of accrual. The median time to progression was 9.4+ months (range: .9–22.2+). The most commonly observed adverse events were dermatologic toxicity (grade 3 in 32%), thrombocytopenia (grade 3 in 14%), and hypersensitivity reactions (grade 3 and 4 in 18%).
Cetuximab administered in combination with carboplatin had modest activity in screened patients with EGFR-positive, relapsed platinum-sensitive ovarian or primary peritoneal carcinoma. Cetuximab was associated with an acneiform rash in a majority of patients and occasional serious hypersensitivity reactions.
PMCID: PMC2744339  PMID: 18191993
cetuximab; epidermal growth factor receptor; ovarian cancer
24.  A Phase I and Pharmacodynamic Study of Decitabine in Combination with Carboplatin in Patients with Recurrent, Platinum-Resistant, Epithelial Ovarian Cancer 
Cancer  2010;116(17):4043-4053.
Aberrant DNA methylation is a hallmark of cancer and DNA methyltransferase inhibitors have demonstrated clinical efficacy in hematologic malignancies. Based on preclinical studies indicating that hypomethylating agents can reverse platinum resistance in ovarian cancer cells, we conducted a phase I trial of low dose decitabine combined with carboplatin, in patients with recurrent, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
Decitabine was administered i.v. daily for five days, prior to carboplatin (AUC 5) on day 8 of a 28-day cycle. Using a standard 3+3 dose escalation decitabine was tested at two dose levels: 10 mg/m2 (seven patients) or 20 mg/m2 (three patients). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and plasma collected on days 1 (pre-treatment), 5, 8, and 15, were utilized to assess global (LINE-1 repetitive element) and gene-specific DNA methylation.
Dose-limiting toxicity (DLT) at the 20 mg/m2 dose was grade 4 neutropenia (2 patients) and no DLTs were observed at 10 mg/m2. Most common toxicities were nausea, allergic reactions, neutropenia, fatigue, anorexia, vomiting, and abdominal pain, the majority being grades 1-2. One complete response was observed, and three additional patients had stable disease for ≥ six months. LINE-1 hypomethylation on days 8 and 15 was detected in DNA from PBMCs. Of five ovarian cancer-associated methylated genes, HOXA11 and BRCA1 were demethylated in plasma on days 8 and 15.
Repetitive low-dose decitabine is tolerated when combined with carboplatin in ovarian cancer patients, and demonstrates biological (i.e., DNA-hypomethylating) activity justifying further testing for clinical efficacy.
PMCID: PMC2930033  PMID: 20564122
ovarian cancer; decitabine; epigenetic biomarkers; chemosensitization; platinum resistance
25.  Phase II Trial of Irinotecan and Carboplatin for Extensive or Relapsed Small-Cell Lung Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2009;27(9):1401-1404.
The regimens of weekly irinotecan with platinum have been used for treatment of metastatic small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). We conducted a multi-institution phase II trial to evaluate a novel 21-day schedule of irinotecan and carboplatin in patients with relapsed or extensive SCLC.
Patients and Methods
Eighty patients were enrolled with the following characteristics: 39 male patients, 41 female patients; median age, 65 years; and Zubrod performance status, 0 to 1 in 85% and 2 in 15% of patients. Dosing schemas were based on the maximum-tolerated dose derived in a previous phase I study. Chemotherapy-naive patients with extensive SCLC were treated with irinotecan 200 mg/m2 and carboplatin area under the curve (AUC) of 5 (arm A). Patients, who had previously been treated with chemotherapy and had relapsed disease received irinotecan 150 mg/m2 and carboplatin AUC of 5 (arm B). In each study arm, the treatment was given every 21 days for up to six cycles.
The most common grade 3 to 4 toxicities included neutropenia (54%), thrombocytopenia (22%), anemia (13%), diarrhea (22%), and nausea/emesis (11%) in both study arms. There were three treatment-related deaths owing to neutropenic sepsis. Among 72 assessable patients, response rates of 65% and 50% were observed, respectively, for arm A and arm B. The median survival for both study arms was identical at 10 months (95% CI, 6 to 14 months). A response rate of 65% was observed in the intracranial disease of 14 patients with known brain metastases.
This 21-day regimen of irinotecan and carboplatin seems promising for the treatment of relapsed SCLC.
PMCID: PMC2668551  PMID: 19204194

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