Maintenance Therapy in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Rationale and Results

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Although ovarian cancer is highly sensitive to chemotherapy, the majority of patients experience recurrence. As a result, it is rational to consider a maintenance strategy to improve overall survival (even if it does not increase the rate of “cure”) and delay the time to symptomatic disease progression. Although a phase III trial of single-agent paclitaxel delivered on a monthly schedule for 12 cycles after the attainment of a clinically defined complete response to primary chemotherapy revealed a substantial improvement in progression-free survival, the effect of this strategy on overall survival remains unresolved. Hopefully, the role of maintenance therapy in patients with ovarian cancer will be defined by ongoing and future trials.

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