STUDY OBJECTIVE - To determine the efficacy of a 6-month course of combination chemotherapy with hexamethylmelamine, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (H-CAP) in the treatment of advanced ovarian carcinoma.
DESIGN - Prospective, non-randomized, single-institution trial with a 6-month course of chemotherapy, followed by second-look laparotomy for restaging. Minimum follow-up after completion of therapy is 83 months.
PATIENTS - Fifty-five patients with advanced (stage III or IV), intermediate- or high-grade epithelial carcinoma of the ovary. Twenty patients had limited residual tumor (3 cm or less maximal tumor diameter) after initial cytoreductive surgery; 35 had extensive residual disease.
INTERVENTIONS - All patients received chemotherapy with hexamethylmelamine (150 mg/m2 body surface area orally on days 1 to 14), cyclophosphamide (350 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1 and 8), doxorubicin (20 mg/m2 intravenously on days 1 and 8), and cisplatin (60 mg/m2 intravenously on day 1). Courses were repeated at 4-week intervals; 41 patients (75%) received six courses; 10 patients received five courses, 3 patients received four courses, and 1 patients received three courses. Forty-seven patients underwent second-look laparotomy after completion of therapy; 8 had their disease restaged clinically.
RESULTS - Fifty-three of fifty-five patients (96%) had either partial or complete response to treatment. Nineteen of forty-seven patients who had a second-look laparotomy had a surgically documented complete response; 17 of these 19 patients began chemotherapy with limited residual tumor. Ten patients (18%) remain disease-free 83 to 108 months after therapy, whereas three additional patients died of other diseases without clinical evidence of recurrent ovarian cancer. Nine of twenty patients who began chemotherapy with limited residual tumor remain disease-free, as compared to only 1 of 35 patients with more extensive tumor (P less than 0.001). All long-term, disease-free survivors had surgically documented complete response at second-look laparotomy.
CONCLUSIONS - Treatment with cisplatin-based combination chemotherapy after aggressive cytoreductive surgery should be considered standard treatment for advanced ovarian carcinoma. Our intensive, 6-month course of treatment produced results comparable to those previously reported with prolonged treatment.