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Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin: Optimizing The Dosing Schedule In Ovarian Cancer.

P. Rose
Published 2005 · Medicine

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The need for effective, well-tolerated, and convenient therapies for patients with advanced ovarian cancer has led researchers to continually refine chemotherapeutic regimens to balance efficacy with safety and tolerability in order to maintain or improve patient quality of life. In this article, we review current strategies for the optimal dosing of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (DOXIL; Tibotec Therapeutics, a division of Ortho Biotech Products, L.P., Bridgewater, NJ, http://www.tibotec.com; Caelyx, Schering-Plough Corporation, Kenilworth, NJ, http://www.sch-plough.com) in relapsed ovarian cancer. Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of recurrent/resistant ovarian cancer in several clinical trials utilizing a dose of 50 mg/m2 every 4 weeks. The most common adverse events associated with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin treatment in these studies-hand-foot syndrome (HFS, also known as palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia) and stomatitis-are schedule and dose dependent, respectively, and do not typically lead to discontinuation of therapy. Several phase II and retrospective studies support the use of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin 40 mg/m2 every 4 weeks (dose intensity of 10 mg/m2 weekly) to optimize clinical efficacy and minimize the occurrence of schedule- and dose-related adverse events in patients with recurrent/relapsed ovarian cancer. Further reductions in dose intensity are necessary for use in combined chemotherapy regimens. Antitumor activity was maintained, with reduced incidences of HFS and stomatitis. Given the chronic course of ovarian cancer, the improved tolerability profile of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin 40 mg/m2 combined with a convenient once-monthly dosing schedule may translate into an improved quality of life for patients with ovarian cancer.
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