Safety of topotecan in the treatment of recurrent small-cell lung cancer and ovarian cancer.
The topoisomerase I inhibitor, topotecan, is approved for the treatment of recurrent small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and ovarian cancer (OC). Patients with recurrent SCLC and OC typically experience multiple relapses and receive multiple rounds of chemotherapy. In these settings, disease stabilisation is considered a treatment benefit, and quality-of-life effects and cumulative toxicities of treatments should be considered. Many patients with recurrent cancer may be predisposed to treatment-related adverse events because of advanced age, renal impairment or extensive prior therapy. The standard regimen of topotecan, 1.5 mg/m(2) on days 1-5 of a 21-day cycle, has generally mild nonhaematological toxicity and a well-defined haematological toxicity profile characterised by reversible and noncumulative neutropenia. Alternative regimens may lower the incidence of haematological toxicities and maintain antitumour efficacy. Topotecan may provide physicians with a versatile therapeutic option for the treatment of patients with relapsed SCLC or OC.
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