INDIANAPOLIS -- The combination of decitabine and carboplatin appears to improve the outcome of women who have late-stage ovarian cancer. In an upcoming issue of the journal Cancer (online today), Indiana University researchers report four of 10 patients who participated in a phase I clinical trial had no disease progression after six months of treatment. One patient experienced complete resolution of tumor tissue for a period of time.
Advanced ovarian cancer is often diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective. Patients are often told they have virtually no chance of recovery and only months to live.
Women participating in the study were between 51 and 71, and had previously exhausted all approved treatments for ovarian cancer. They enrolled in an Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center clinical trial designed to increase their sensitivity to the commonly prescribed ovarian cancer drug, platinum-based carboplatin.
Women with ovarian cancer usually survive less than one year after they become resistant to carboplatin and their cancer recurs, said co-principal investigator Daniela Matei, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Matei led the clinical portion of the trial.
"Carboplatin is the most efficient drug therapy for ovarian cancer," Matei said. "Unfortunately, patients with recurrent disease become resistant to the drug after one or two rounds."
Decitabine was first used to treat the study patients intravenously daily for five days followed on the eighth day with carboplatin. After a month, the regimen begins again.
Six months after the trial began, four of the patients had no disease progression. At eight-and-a-half months, seven patients were alive (and at press time, still alive). Cancerous tissue in one of the patients shrank completely.
Adverse reactions to the treatment regiments were mild, including nausea, fatigu
|Contact: Mary L. Hardin|
Indiana University School of Medicine