Libby's H*O*P*E*

*Helping*Ovarian Cancer Survivors*Persevere Through*Education

Small Phase II Study Tests the Use of Fulvestrant in the Treatment of Recurrent Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Posted by Paul Cacciatore on March 15, 2009

… University of Minnesota researchers evaluated the use of fulvestrant [Faslodex®] in women with recurrent ovarian or primary peritoneal cancer. …Using modified-RECIST criteria 13 patients (50%) achieved SD …[T]he University of Minnesota researchers concluded that fulvestrant is well-tolerated and efficacious. The researchers also noted that objective response rates are low, but disease stabilization was common.

It is well-known that the goal of treating recurrent ovarian cancer is disease control while minimizing toxicity. Previously, Fulvestrant (Faslodex®), a novel estrogen receptor (ER) antagonist, was proven clinically beneficial and well-tolerated in treating recurrent breast cancer. If a pathologist determines that a women’s ovarian cancer biopsy is estrogen receptor positive (ER+), there is a possibility that she may respond to anti-estrogen therapy.

On this basis, University of Minnesota researchers evaluated the use of fulvestrant in women with recurrent ovarian or primary peritoneal cancer. Patients with ER+, multiply recurrent ovarian or primary peritoneal carcinoma were eligible for trial enrollment if (i) they had measurable disease according to RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) criteria, or (ii) an abnormal and rising CA-125 blood test measurement. Treatment consisted of single agent fulvestrant, 500 mg IM (intramuscular) on Day 1, 250 mg IM on Day 15, and 250 mg IM on Day 29 and every 28 days thereafter until the patient experienced intolerance or disease progression. Disease response was assessed by monthly physical exams and CA-125 levels as well as bimonthly CT scans. The clinical trial primary endpoint was “clinical benefit” (CB) (i.e., CB=complete response (CR) + partial response (PR) + stable disease (SD)) at 90 days).

Pursuant to the phase II fulvestrant clinical trial, the study researchers reported the following:

  • Thirty-one women were enrolled and 26 women (median age of 61) met inclusion criteria and received at least one dose;
  • Patients received a median of 5 prior chemotherapeutic regimens (range: 2-13) prior to enrollment;
  • One patient experienced CR (4%), one patient experienced PR (4%), and 9 patients experienced SD (35%) using modified-Rustin criteria (CA-125 level);
  • Using modified-RECIST criteria 13 patients (50%) achieved SD;
  • The median time to disease progression was 62 days (mean 86 days); and
  • Grade 1 toxicity included headache (1 patient) and bromidrosis (2 patients).

Based upon the foregoing results, the University of Minnesota researchers concluded that fulvestrant is well-tolerated and efficacious. The researchers also noted that objective response rates are low, but disease stabilization was common.

Primary SourceA phase II study of fulvestrant in the treatment of multiply-recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer; Argenta PA, Thomas SG, Judson PL et. al., Gynecol Oncol. 2009 Feb 22. [Epub ahead of print]

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