Patients with newly diagnosed advanced-stage ovarian cancer who were referred to receive three cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy experienced statistically significant improved recurrence-free survival and overall survival from hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) during interval cytoreductive surgery, results of a phase 3 trial showed.
After 4.7 years’ median follow-up, 89% of patients who received surgery with no HIPEC had disease recurrence or death, compared with 81% of patients treated with HIPEC (hazard ratio, 0.66; P = .003). Patients in the HIPEC cohort experienced recurrence-free survival a median of 3.5 months longer than patients who received surgery alone (10.7 months vs. 14.2 months), Willemien J. van Driel, MD, PhD, of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, and her colleagues.
Dr. van Driel and her coauthors also reported a median 11.8 months increased overall survival (33.9 months vs. 45.7 months) for HIPEC, compared with surgery alone.
Both recurrence-free survival and overall survival remained consistently beneficial for patients in the HIPEC group across prespecified stratification factors and subgroups, including age, histology type, regional involvement, and previous surgery, according to the researchers.
They also reported that no significant differences between the two groups were noted in the incidence of adverse events of any grade. In total, grade 3 or 4 adverse events were reported by 32 patients (27%) who received HIPEC and 30 patients (25%) who received surgery (P = .76); the most common were abdominal pain, infection, and ileus.
Combination treatment with intravenous and intraperitoneal chemotherapy has been shown to prolong overall survival after primary cytoreductive surgery, according to the authors.
“Catheter-related problems, increased demands on the patient, and gastrointestinal and renal side effects have hampered the adoption of this approach in most countries,” the researchers wrote. “Hyperthermia increases the penetration of chemotherapy at the peritoneal surface and increases the sensitivity of the cancer to chemotherapy by impairing DNA repair [and] … can circumvent most of these drawbacks while maintaining its advantages.”
This research was supported by the Dutch Cancer Society. Dr. van Driel reported no relevant financial disclosures. Two other researchers reported funding from various pharmaceutical companies as well as the KFW–Dutch Cancer Foundation.
SOURCE: van Driel WJ et al. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jan 18. .