A recent study investigated the efficacy of volasertib, a selective cell-cycle kinase inhibitor, versus a single-agent chemotherapy for the treatment of platinum-resistant or -refractory ovarian cancer. A 24-week disease control point was the primary end point, and secondary end points included quality of life and progression-free survival.1

The 109 patients involved in the study received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer and had experienced failure after treatment with 2 or 3 therapy lines. After random assignment for treatment type, 55 patients received chemotherapy (single-agent, nonplatinum, cytotoxic chemotherapy) and 54 patients received volasertib (300 mg; via IV infusion at 3-week intervals).

The 24-week disease control rates were measured at 43.1% for chemotherapy and 30.6% for volasertib. Median progression-free survival was 20.6 weeks for chemotherapy and 13.1 weeks for volasertib therapy. Eleven percent of patients treated with volasertib achieved progression-free survival for more than 1 year, whereas no patients treated with a single-agent chemotherapy exceeded a year. Volasertib therapy showed a greater number of grades 3 and 4 drug-related hematologic adverse events compared with chemotherapy, but a lower number of nonhematologic adverse events.

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The researchers concluded that single-agent volasertib demonstrated antitumor activity for ovarian cancer. Study results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


1. Pujade-Lauraine E, Selle F, Weber B, et al. Volasertib versus chemotherapy in platinum-resistant or –refractory ovarian cancer: a randomized phase II Groupe des Investigateurs Nationaux pour l’Etude des Cancers de l’Ovaire Study [published online ahead of print January 11, 2016]. J Clin Oncol. doi:10.1200/JCO.2015.62.1474.