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Randomized phase III trial of tamoxifen versus thalidomide in women with biochemical-recurrent-only epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal carcinoma after a complete response to first-line platinum/taxane chemotherapy with an evaluation of serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF): A Gynecologic Oncology Group Study.



To compare progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and toxicities of thalidomide versus tamoxifen and to evaluate serum vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in biochemical-recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer, primary peritoneal cancer or fallopian tube carcinoma (EOC/PPC/FTC).


Biochemical recurrence was defined as a rising CA-125 exceeding twice the upper limit of normal without evidence of disease as defined by RECIST 1.0 criteria. Women with FIGO stages III and IV, histologically confirmed EOC/PPC/FTC who were free of disease following first-line chemotherapy were randomized to oral thalidomide 200mg daily with escalation to a maximum of 400 mg or tamoxifen 20mg orally twice daily for up to 1 year, progression or adverse effect prohibited further treatment. VEGF was quantified by ELISA in pre and post-treatment serum.


Of the 139 women randomized, 138 were eligible. Interim analysis showed that thalidomide did not reduce the recurrence rate relative to tamoxifen, and the trial was closed. Thalidomide versus tamoxifen was associated with a similar risk of progression (HR = 1.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.93-1.85), an increased risk of death (HR = 1.76, 95% CI = 1.16-2.68) and more grades 3 and 4 toxicities (55% versus 3%). The most common grades 3 and 4 toxicities were constitutional (12%), somnolence (12%), pulmonary (9%), venous thromboembolism (VTE) (6%) and peripheral neurologic (6%) for thalidomide, with VTE (1.4%) and gastrointestinal (1.4%) for tamoxifen. Serum VEGF was not associated with clinical characteristics, treatment, PFS or OS.


Thalidomide was not more effective than tamoxifen in delaying recurrence or death but was more toxic. VEGF was not prognostic in this cohort.

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