Aim: To compare the efficacy and toxicity between topotecan- and belotecan-based chemotherapies in recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).
Methods: The clinical data of 80 patients treated with topotecan- (n = 45) or belotecan- (n = 35) based chemotherapy as at least a second-line chemotherapy were reviewed retrospectively between July 2001 and December 2007. Response was evaluated using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (RECIST) and serum CA-125 levels. Hematological toxicity was examined according to the National Cancer Institute Common Toxicity Criteria (NCI-CTC) version 2.0. Time to progressive disease (TTPD), chemotherapy-specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) according to the 2 chemotherapies were evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier analysis with the log-rank test.
Results: Overall response rate (ORR) was 24.4% in patients treated with topotecan-based chemotherapy, while it was 45.7% in those treated with belotecan-based chemotherapy (P = 0.046). Moreover, ORR was higher in platinum-sensitive patients treated with belotecan-based chemotherapy (58.8%) than those treated with topotecan-based chemotherapy (22.2%) (P = 0.041) although it was not significantly different in platinum-resistant patients (P = 0.471). Grade 3 or 4 anemia, neutropenia and thrombocytopenia developed in 14.8% vs 3.6%, 43.1% vs 55.6%, and 20.0% vs 12.8% of cycles in topotecan- and belotecan-based chemotherapies, respectively (P < 0.05). There were no significant difference in survival between the 2 chemotherapies.
Conclusions: In our experience, belotecan-based chemotherapy seemed to be efficient with acceptable toxicity, compared to topotecan-based chemotherapy in recurrent EOC. However, randomized controlled trials are required for the comparison of the efficacy and toxicity between topotecan- and belotecan-based chemotherapies in recurrent EOC.