BETHESDA, Md--Hoping to resolve one of cancer care's ongoing controversies,
the National Cancer Institute is launching the first large national study
of high-dose chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer, to be conducted
at dozens of medical centers affiliated with the Gynecologic Oncology Group
and other cooperative groups supported by NCI.
The randomized study will enroll 275 women with stage III ovarian cancer
who still show evidence of disease after surgery and one course of chemotherapy.
One group will receive a three-drug combination--carboplatin (Paraplatin),
mitoxantrone (Novantrone), and cyclophosphamide--and autologous bone marrow
The second group will receive paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin, the
drug combination now considered the optimal therapy for stage III ovarian
cancer. Endpoints will be overall survival and progression-free survival.
Researchers will also seek to measure differences in quality of life, including
both physical and psychological well-being.
"This trial should help resolve the debate over whether high-dose
chemotherapy is more, equally, or less effective, compared to conventional
chemotherapy," said Edward L. Tremble, MD, of NCI's Clinical Investigations
Branch, Division of Cancer Treatment, Diagnosis, and Centers.