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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Importance of multiagent chemotherapy regimens in ovarian carcinoma: dose intensity analysis.

BACKGROUND: In the previous meta-analysis of dose intensity (dosage) of chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer, we analyzed data on cyclophosphamide, altretamine (hexamethylmelamine), doxorubicin, and cisplatin. Only cisplatin showed statistically significant association of complete and partial clinical response with dose intensity. PURPOSE: This analysis updates the previous results and further characterizes response to cisplatin alone or in multiagent regimens. METHODS: We analyzed data from 18 regimens containing platinum (cisplatin or carboplatin) that were used in nine new randomized trials, in addition to data from the 60 groups of patients in our previous study in which responses were reported. Relative dose intensity was calculated as a fraction of the dosage of a drug in the standard regimen of cyclophosphamide, altretamine, doxorubicin, and platinum (CHAP). We performed single and multiple regression analyses to determine the relationship between disease outcome and relative dose intensity for cyclophosphamide, platinum, and doxorubicin alone or in combination. RESULTS: The association between outcome and dose intensity for platinum alone or in multiagent regimens was statistically significant. This association was of borderline significance for cyclophosphamide alone but was not significant for this drug in multiagent regimens. There were insufficient data to test the relationship for doxorubicin as a single agent, but in multiagent regimens, the relationship was borderline (P = .05). Multiagent regimens containing platinum produced greater response rates than platinum alone for any fixed, planned relative dose intensity for platinum. CONCLUSIONS: Our results support other published findings that use of cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin increases the efficacy of single-agent platinum. Relative dose intensity values for cyclophosphamide used alone were larger than those used in multiagent regimens, which might explain why the relationship between relative dose intensity and outcome for cyclophosphamide was not significant for use in multiagent regimens. Similarly, none of the multiagent regimens incorporated doxorubicin at a relative dose intensity for which the drug is found to be effective as a single agent. IMPLICATIONS: Prospective clinical trials are required to test the effect of higher relative dose intensity for doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide added to platinum in advanced ovarian cancer. An important element in the design of prospective trials will be to test for the relative importance of dose intensity versus total dose. This testing is best achieved in a three-arm study design such as that reported in adjuvant treatment of stage II breast cancer conducted by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B.[1]


  1. Importance of multiagent chemotherapy regimens in ovarian carcinoma: dose intensity analysis. Levin, L., Simon, R., Hryniuk, W. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. (1993) [Pubmed]
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