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Open Access Research article

Sustained platelet-sparing effect of weekly low dose paclitaxel allows effective, tolerable delivery of extended dose dense weekly carboplatin in platinum resistant/refractory epithelial ovarian cancer

Rohini Sharma1*, Janet Graham2, Sarah Blagden3 and Hani Gabra3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Experimental Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK

2 Department of Oncology, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

3 Ovarian Cancer Action (HHMT) Research Centre, Imperial College, London, UK

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:289  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-289

Published: 11 July 2011

Abstract

Background

Platinum agents have shown demonstrable activity in the treatment of patients with platinum resistant, recurrent ovarian cancer when delivered in a "dose-dense" fashion. However, the development of thrombocytopenia limits the weekly administration of carboplatin to no greater than AUC 2. Paclitaxel has a well-described platelet sparing effect however its use to explicitly provide thromboprotection in the context of dose dense carboplatin has not been explored.

Methods

We treated seven patients with platinum resistant ovarian cancer who had previously received paclitaxel or who had developed significant peripheral neuropathy precluding the use of further full dose weekly paclitaxel.

Results

We were able to deliver carboplatin AUC 3 and paclitaxel 20 mg/m2 with no thrombocytopenia or worsening of neuropathic side-effects, and with good activity.

Conclusions

We conclude that this regimen may be feasible and active, and could be formally developed as a "platinum-focussed dose-dense scaffold" into which targeted therapies that reverse platinum resistance can be incorporated, and merits further evaluation.

Keywords:
ovarian cancer; resistance; chemotherapy; dose-dense; carboplatin; paclitaxel; thrombocytopaenia