Research Article

Chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer: an overview of randomised clinical trials. Advanced Ovarian Cancer Trialists Group.

BMJ 1991; 303 doi: (Published 12 October 1991) Cite this as: BMJ 1991;303:884


OBJECTIVES--To consider the role of platinum and the relative merits of single agent and combination chemotherapy in the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer. DESIGN--Formal quantitative overview using updated individual patient data from all available randomised trials (published and unpublished). SUBJECTS--8139 patients (6408 deaths) included in 45 different trials. RESULTS--No firm conclusions could be reached. Nevertheless, the results suggest that in terms of survival immediate platinum based treatment was better than non-platinum regimens (overall relative risk 0.93; 95% confidence interval 0.83 to 1.05); platinum in combination was better than single agent platinum when used in the same dose (overall relative risk 0.85; 0.72 to 1.00); and cisplatin and carboplatin were equally effective (overall relative risk 1.05; 0.94 to 1.18). CONCLUSIONS--In the past, randomised clinical trials of chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer have been much too small to detect the degree of benefit which this overview suggests is realistic for currently available chemotherapeutic regimens. Hence a new trial comparing cisplatin, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide (CAP) with carboplatin has been launched and plans to accrue 2000 patients.