To evaluate the incidence of anemia in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer receiving paclitaxel-carboplatin combination therapy (TC) using data from the Japanese Gynecologic Oncology Group (JGOG) 3016 trial, and to examine the effect of severe anemia on survival during dose-dense TC.Methods
Retrospective analysis was conducted in patients enrolled in the JGOG 3016 trial who underwent at least one cycle of the protocol therapy (n = 622). Hemoglobin values at enrollment and during each cycle of TC were collected. One-to-one matching was performed between patients with and patients without grade 3/4 anemia during TC (anemia and nonanemia groups) to adjust the baseline characteristics of the patients. The cumulative survival curve and median progression-free survival were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method.Results
Grades 2 to 4 anemia was observed in 19.8% of patients before first-line TC. The incidence of grade 3/4 anemia rapidly increased to 56.1% after the fourth cycle of dose-dense TC. After matching, the median progression-free survival in the anemia (hemoglobin <8.0 g/dL) and nonanemia (hemoglobin >8.0 g/dL) groups was 777 and 1100 days, respectively (P = 0.3493) for patients receiving dose-dense TC. The median progression-free survival in patients receiving conventional TC was similar between the 2 groups.Conclusions
The difference in progression-free survival between patients with epithelial ovarian cancer with and those without severe anemia during TC was not statistically significant, but for patients receiving dose-dense TC, severe anemia seems to have prognostic relevance. Prospective trials are needed to investigate whether the optimal management of chemotherapy-induced anemia, including appropriate use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, would further improve the survival of patients with ovarian cancer receiving dose-dense TC.