(HealthDay News) — For women with advanced epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer (AEOC) who have undergone surgery and first-line chemotherapy, maintenance therapy with pazopanib is associated with significant longer median progression-free survival versus placebo, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, held from May 31 to June 4 in Chicago.

Andreas du Bois, M.D., from Kliniken Essen Mitte in Essen, Germany, and colleagues assessed the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of pazopanib maintenance therapy in 940 patients with histologically confirmed AEOC, with no evidence of progression after surgery and who had undergone five or more cycles of platinum-taxane chemotherapy. The participants, 91 percent of whom had stage III/IV disease at initial diagnosis, were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive 800 mg pazopanib or placebo for 24 months.

The researchers found that the median progression-free survival was significantly longer with pazopanib (17.9 months, versus 12.3 months with placebo; hazard ratio, 0.766). At the first interim analysis for overall survival there was no significant difference observed between the groups. The incidence of adverse events and serious adverse events was higher with pazopanib treatment versus placebo, with the most common adverse events being hypertension, diarrhea, nausea, headache, fatigue, and neutropenia.

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“Our findings show that we finally have a drug that can maintain control over ovarian cancer growth achieved through initial treatments,” du Bois said in a statement. “If pazopanib is approved for ovarian cancer, many patients will experience longer disease-free and chemotherapy-free periods.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which funded the study and manufactures pazopanib.

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