Pre-Taxol Era & Ova Ca Assays

Editorial, 4/03 By Dr. Larry Weisenthal

Regarding Ovarian Cancer Assays Showing Results Which Do Not Support Treatment with "Standard" Taxol/Platinum as First Line Therapy

History of Randomized Clinical Trials in Ovarian Cancer: Pre-Taxol Era

For many years (from the early 60s to late 70s), the "standard" ovarian cancer chemotherapy was single agent melphalan (or chemotherapy with a related "alkylating agent," such as cyclophosphamide).

These "alkylators" were inexpensive and usually well tolerated oral drugs. In the late 70s, the NCI reported the results of a randomized clinical trial in the New England Journal of Medicine in which a complex and toxic combination ("HEXA-CAF") ostensibly produced superior results, compared to single agent melphalan.

But this study was not confirmed. By the early 80s, some data appeared initially to support the concept that cisplatin-based combinations might produce superior outcomes.

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