Wanna Get Away? Maintenance Treatments and Chemotherapy Holidays in Gynecologic Cancers.
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Epithelial ovarian cancer has a very high rate of relapse after primary therapy; historically approximately 70% of patients with a complete clinical response to surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy will relapse and die of the disease. Although this number has slowly improved, cure rates remain less than 50%. As such, maintenance therapy with the aim of preventing or delaying disease relapse and the goal of improving overall survival has been the subject of intense study. Numerous earlier studies with agents ranging from radioactive phosphorus to extended frontline therapy or to monthly taxol administration demonstrated encouraging improvements in progression-free survival (PFS) only to find, disappointingly, no benefit in overall survival. In addition, the PFS advantage of maintenance therapy was associated with disconcerting side effects such that maintenance therapy was not adapted as standard of care. Studies with bevacizumab and PARP inhibitors have demonstrated a PFS advantage with a manageable side-effect profile. However, an overall survival advantage remains unclear, and the use of these approaches thus remains controversial. Furthermore, in recurrent disease, the length of chemotherapy and benefits of extended chemotherapy is unclear. Thus, additional trials assessing maintenance strategies in ovarian and other gynecologic malignancies are needed.
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Genital Neoplasms, Female
Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols
Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
Clinical Trials as Topic
Molecular Targeted Therapy
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American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting, 2019, 39 pp. e152 - e166
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