Topotecan is indicated in the treatment of advanced-stage ovarian cancers refractory to prior platinum-based regimen. The aim of this study was to compare the standard therapeutic strategy with a novel strategy of weekly administration of topotecan. The primary endpoints were dose density and overall tolerance. This retrospective cohort study included patients with ovarian cancer in relapse. During a first period (1998–2001), 24 patients received the standard topotecan dose of 1.5 mg/m2/day for 5 consecutive days with a 3-week interval between each treatment course. During a second period (2003–2006), 21 patients received a weekly topotecan dose of 4 mg/m2 for 3 weeks out of every 4. Grades III and IV haematological toxicities were more frequent with the standard strategy (p < 0.05), even after adjustment of the prescription of erythropoietin and G-CSF. With the weekly strategy, an increase in dose density and a reduction in the number of delayed doses were observed. No significant difference between the 2 strategies was found in terms of response to the treatment and specific survival. This study suggests that the weekly administration of topotecan 4 mg/m2, for 3 weeks out of every 4, results in a better maintenance of dose density and a reduction in haematological toxicity.

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