Review role of topotecan in gynaecological cancers: Current indications and perspectives

Domenica Lorusso, Antonella Pietragalla, Sara Mainenti, Valeria Masciullo, Giovanni Di Vagno, Giovanni Scambia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Ovarian cancer is the fourth cause of death from gynaecological cancer and cervical cancer is the first in women ®), a semi-synthetic alkaloid derivative of camptothecin, in ovarian and cervical cancer in monotherapy and in combination. Methods: This article reviews the mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, toxicity and efficacy of topotecan. The paper also reports the principal phases II and III studies of topotecan in advanced or recurrent ovarian and cervical cancer. Results: Topotecan (Hycamtin®), currently indicated for the treatment of relapsed ovarian cancer, has demonstrated activity both in platinum-sensitive and in platinum-resistant disease. The combination cisplatin-topotecan for the treatment of advanced and recurrent cervical cancer has demonstrated a clinical benefit in terms of response rate, overall survival and progression free survival. Haematological toxicity of topotecan also is easy to manage and not cumulative, especially with the weekly scheduled recently introduced in clinical practice. Conclusion: Topotecan (Hycamtin®) will continue to play a role in the treatment of advanced ovarian and cervical cancer, in monotherapy or in combination with other cytotoxic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Cervical cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Topoisomerase I inhibitor
  • Topotecan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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