Author(s): Thigpen JT, Aghajanian CA, Alberts DS, Campos SM, Gordon AN
Objectives Safe, effective treatments are needed for relapsed ovarian cancer. Goals include improving symptoms, enhancing quality of life, and prolonging survival. The plethora of agents currently available present difficult choices for physicians. The present effort seeks to examine the role of one of these agents, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin. Methods A roundtable meeting of experts in the management of ovarian carcinoma was held to build consensus around the present and future role of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin for ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies. Results Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin is effective and well tolerated in relapsed ovarian cancer. When compared with topotecan in a phase III randomized trial, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin showed several advantages: improved quality of life, fewer severe adverse events, fewer dose modifications, less hematologic support, and lower total cost per patient. In platinum-sensitive patients, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin also produced a survival advantage. Results from prospective and retrospective studies further demonstrate the improved cardiac safety of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin compared to conventional anthracyclines. Conclusions Based on survival and toxicity advantages and a once-monthly administration schedule, pegylated liposomal doxorubicin is the first-choice nonplatinum agent for relapsed ovarian cancer. Pegylated liposomal doxorubicin may also have clinical application in combination regimens for platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer, as consolidation/maintenance therapy for ovarian cancer, as a component of first-line therapy for ovarian cancer, and in the treatment of other gynecologic malignancies. Future clinical trials will further define and maximize the role of pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in the treatment of ovarian cancer and other gynecologic malignancies.