The clinical announcement to surgeons and other medical professionals who treat women with ovarian cancer was made with the support of six professional societies and advocacy groups. The announcement coincides with publication in the New England Journal of Medicine* of the results of a large clinical trial by Deborah Armstrong, M.D., medical oncologist and an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore, Md., and her colleagues in an NCI-supported research network known as the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG). This is the eighth trial evaluating the use of chemotherapy delivered into the abdomen for ovarian cancer. Together, these trials show a significant improvement in survival for women with advanced ovarian cancer.
The two treatment methods are called intravenous, or IV, for chemotherapy delivered into a vein and intraperitoneal, or IP, for chemotherapy delivered into the abdominal, or peritoneal, cavity. The Armstrong trial involved 429 women with stage III ovarian cancer who were given chemotherapy following the successful surgical removal of tumors. It compared two treatment regimens: 1) IV paclitaxel followed by IV cisplatin, to 2) IV paclitaxel followed by IP cisplatin and the subsequent administration of IP paclitaxel.
"Americans look to NCI--and to all of the institutes that constitute the National Institutes of Health--for unbiased research studies and sound counsel. This clinical announcement is a demonstration of that commitment," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.