Inhibition of angiogenesis is a valuable treatment strategy for ovarian cancer. Pazopanib is an anti-angiogenic drug active in ovarian cancer. We assessed the effect of adding pazopanib to paclitaxel for patients with platinum-resistant or platinum-refractory advanced ovarian cancer.
We did this open-label, randomised phase 2 trial at 11 hospitals in Italy. We included patients with platinum-resistant or platinum-refractory ovarian cancer previously treated with a maximum of two lines of chemotherapy, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1, and no residual peripheral neurotoxicity. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive weekly paclitaxel 80 mg/m(2) with or without pazopanib 800 mg daily, and stratified by centre, number of previous lines of chemotherapy, and platinum-free interval status. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival, assessed in the modified intention-to-treat population. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01644825. This report is the final analysis; the trial is completed.
Between Dec 15, 2010, and Feb 8, 2013, we enrolled 74 patients: 37 were randomly assigned to receive paclitaxel and pazopanib and 37 were randomly assigned to receive paclitaxel only. One patient, in the paclitaxel only group, withdrew from the study and was excluded from analyses. Median follow-up was 16·1 months (IQR 12·5-20·8). Progression-free survival was significantly longer in the pazopanib plus paclitaxel group than in the paclitaxel only group (median 6·35 months [95% CI 5·36-11·02] vs 3·49 months [2·01-5·66]; hazard ratio 0·42 [95% CI 0·25-0·69]; p=0·0002). We recorded no unexpected toxic effects or deaths from toxic effects. Adverse events were more common in the pazopanib and paclitaxel group than in the paclitaxel only group. The most common grade 3-4 adverse events were neutropenia (11 [30%] in the pazopanib group vs one [3%] in the paclitaxel group), fatigue (four [11%] vs two [6%]), leucopenia (four [11%] vs one [3%]), hypertension (three [8%] vs none [0%]), raised aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase (three [8%] vs none), and anaemia (two [5%] vs five [14%]). One patient in the pazopanib group had ileal perforation.
Our findings suggest that a phase 3 study of the combination of weekly paclitaxel plus pazopanib for patients with platinum-resistant or platinum-refractory advanced ovarian cancer is warranted.