Chemotherapy for ovarian cancer in the Netherlands: a population-based study on treatment patterns and outcomes

Information on treatment patterns for ovarian cancer (OC) is limited. The aim of this study was to describe current patterns of chemotherapy and other systemic treatments for OC in the Netherlands and evaluate survival outcomes following subsequentlines of treatment. Data from the Eindhoven Cancer Registry, including on newly diagnosed cancer patients, were linked to the PHARMO Database Network, including information on in- and out-patient drug use. Patients diagnosed with OC between January 2000and December 2010 were selected. An algorithm was used to identify separate lines of treatment. Data were studied descriptively. Detailed data on systemic drug use were available for 261 patients (17%) with OC. In first-line treatment, 87% of the patients (227/261) received platinum-based chemotherapy. Of the 161 patients receiving second-line treatment, 101 patients (63%) received platinum-based chemotherapy. In third line, this was 51% (53/103). The median number of treatment lines received by patients was two (interquartile range 1-3), and eight or more lines of chemotherapy were identified for 12 patients. Median survival from diagnosis onwards was 47 months from the end of first-line treatment, median survival was 32 months, and from the end of second-line treatment, it was 14 months. Predominantly beyond second-line treatment, there is much variety in treatment patterns with chemotherapy for OC. Although uncertainty remains regarding the desirability of this observed treatment variation, there seems a need for detailed clinical guidance, assuring that physicians can properly choose the most suitable treatment for each patient.

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