Weekly Carboplatin Plus Paclitaxel Improves Quality of Life

(March 14, 2014)  A large European clinical trial showed that carboplatin plus paclitaxel once a week (versus every three weeks) can be an effective front-line treatment for women with advanced ovarian cancer. The results of the study were published in the medical journal The Lancet.

Carboplatin plus paclitaxel administered every 3 weeks is standard first-line chemotherapy for patients with advanced ovarian cancer. A weekly paclitaxel schedule combined with carboplatin every 3 weeks prolonged progression-free survival and overall survival in a Japanese phase 3 trial. The aim of this study, which enrolled over 800 women, was to assess whether a weekly schedule of carboplatin plus paclitaxel is more effective than the same drugs given every 3 weeks.

Researchers found that the weekly regimen increased progression free survival from a median of 17.3 months to 18.3 months. Significantly, quality of life, as measure by the FACT-O/TOI scoring system, was different as well. With treatment every 3 weeks, FACT-O/TOI scores worsened at every cycle, whereas for the weekly schedule, after transient worsening at week 1, FACT-O/TOI scores remained stable.

The researchers conclude that a weekly schedule of carboplatin plus paclitaxel is effective and may also offer better quality of life for patients.

Click here for the abstract.