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Interferon-gamma in the first-line therapy of ovarian cancer: a randomized phase III trial

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Intraperitoneal treatment with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) has been shown to achieve surgically documented responses in the second-line therapy of ovarian cancer. To assess its efficacy in the first-line therapy, we conducted a randomized controlled trial with 148 patients who had undergone primary surgery for FIGO stage Ic–IIIc ovarian cancer. In the control arm women received 100 mg m–2cisplatin and 600 mg m–2cyclophosphamide, the experimental arm included the above regimen with IFN-γ 0.1 mg subcutaneously on days 1, 3, 5, 15, 17 and 19 of each 28-day cycle. Progression-free survival at 3 years was improved from 38% in controls to 51% in the treatment group corresponding to median times to progression of 17 and 48 months (P = 0.031, relative risk of progression 0.48, confidence interval 0.28–0.82). Three-year overall survival was 58% and 74% accordingly (n.s., median not yet reached). Complete clinical responses were observed in 68% with IFN-γ versus 56% in controls (n.s.). Toxicity was comparable in both groups except for a mild flu-like syndrome, experienced by most patients after administration of IFN-γ. Thus, with acceptable toxicity, the inclusion of IFN-γ in the first-line chemotherapy of ovarian cancer yielded a benefit in prolonging progression-free survival. © 2000 Cancer Research Campaign

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  • 16 November 2011

    This paper was modified 12 months after initial publication to switch to Creative Commons licence terms, as noted at publication


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Windbichler, G., Hausmaninger, H., Stummvoll, W. et al. Interferon-gamma in the first-line therapy of ovarian cancer: a randomized phase III trial. Br J Cancer 82, 1138–1144 (2000).

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  • randomized phase III trial
  • multicentre study
  • ovarian cancer
  • interferon-type II

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