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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Cancer 1/2018

A new promising way of maintenance therapy in advanced ovarian cancer: a comparative clinical study

BMC Cancer > Ausgabe 1/2018
Vsevolod I. Kiselev, Levon A. Ashrafyan, Ekaterina L. Muyzhnek, Evgeniya V. Gerfanova, Irina B. Antonova, Olga I. Aleshikova, Fazlul H. Sarkar



There is an urgent need for more novel and efficacious therapeutic agents and strategies for the treatment of ovarian cancer - one of the most formidable female malignancies. These approaches should be based on comprehensive understanding of the pathobiology of this cancer and focused on decreasing its recurrence and metastasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of five-year maintenance therapy with indole-3-carbinol (I3C) as well as I3C and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) conducted before, during, and after combined treatment compared with combined treatment alone in advanced ovarian cancer.


Patients with stage III-IV serous ovarian cancer were assigned to receive combined treatment plus I3C (arm 1), combined treatment plus I3C and EGCG (arm 2), combined treatment plus I3C and EGCG plus long-term platinum-taxane chemotherapy (arm 3), combined treatment alone without neoadjuvant platinum-taxane chemotherapy (control arm 4), and combined treatment alone (control arm 5). Combined treatment included neoadjuvant platinum-taxane chemotherapy, surgery, and adjuvant platinum-taxane chemotherapy. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Secondary endpoints were progression-free survival (PFS) and rate of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer with ascites after combined treatment.


After five years of follow-up, maintenance therapy dramatically prolonged PFS and OS compared to control. Median OS was 60.0 months (95% CI: 58.0–60.0 months) in arm 1, 60.0 months (95% CI: 60.0–60.0 months) in arms 2 and 3 while 46.0 months (95% СI: 28.0–60.0 months) in arm 4, and 44.0 months (95% СI: 33.0–58.0 months) in arm 5. Median PFS was 39.5 months (95% СI: 28.0–49.0 months) in arm 1, 42.5 months (95% СI: 38.0–49.0 months) in arm 2, 48.5 months (95% СI: 39.0–53.0 months) in arm 3, 24.5 months (95% СI: 14.0–34.0 months) in arm 4, 22.0 months (95% СI: 15.0–26.0 months) in arm 5. The rate of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer with ascites after combined treatment was significantly less in maintenance therapy arms compared to control.


Long-term usage of I3C and EGCG may represent a new promising way of maintenance therapy in advanced ovarian cancer patients, which achieved better treatment outcomes.

Trial registration

Retrospectively registered with ANZCTR number: ACTRN12616000394​448. Date of registration: 24/03/2016.
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