Intraperitoneal Taxol (paclitaxel) in the management of ovarian cancer.
In an effort to examine the safety and pharmacology of the intraperitoneal (i.p.) delivery of paclitaxel, 25 patients (24 with ovarian cancer) were treated in a phase I dose escalation trial. The drug was administered in normal saline every 3 to 4 weeks, starting at a dose of 25 mg/m2. The dose-limiting toxicity at doses at or above 175 mg/m2 was abdominal pain. A 3-log pharmacokinetic advantage for peritoneal cavity exposure to paclitaxel, compared with the systemic compartment, was observed. High levels of drug persisted within the cavity for longer than 48 hours following a single treatment. In addition, significant paclitaxel concentrations were found in the systemic compartment after i.p. treatment, despite the pharmacokinetic advantage demonstrated for cavity exposure. Several patients exhibited clinical and laboratory evidence of an antitumor response. On the basis of these data, further exploration of a potential role for i.p. paclitaxel in the management of ovarian cancer appears justified.