• platinum resistant;
  • toxicities;
  • weekly topotecan


Topotecan administered on a weekly basis has been reported to possess antineoplastic activities with lower toxicities than the standard 5-day regimen every 3 weeks. We studied the activity of weekly topotecan regimen in recurrent platinum-resistant epithelial ovarian cancer patients. Ovarian cancer patients with documented platinum-resistant recurrences were treated with weekly intravenous topotecan (4 mg/m2) on days 1, 8, and 15 on a 28-day cycle. Prospective data collection included patients’ demographics together with disease- and treatment-related toxicities. Responses were evaluated using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) and CA125 criteria. Progression-free survival and overall survival time from commencement of weekly treatment were estimated using the Kaplan–Meier method. All P values less than 0.05 were considered to be statistically significant. Twenty-two patients were treated. Weekly topotecan was used most commonly as third-line chemotherapy (range 1–5). A total of 244 weekly treatments were administered, with a median of 12 weekly treatments per patient. Two patients (9%) reported grade 3/4 gastrointestinal and two had grade 3/4 hematologic toxicities respectively. No dose reduction or treatment delay was required. Partial response was observed in two patients (9.1%) and another seven patients (31.8%) showed stable disease. No significant association was observed between best clinical response and patients’ initial platinum sensitivity status. The estimated median progression-free survival was 20.9 weeks (95% CI 11.2–30.5) from the start of the weekly regimen. Weekly topotecan is well tolerated in patients with recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer with modest activity.