Analysis of prognostic factors and survival in patients with ovarian cancer treated with second-line hexamethylmelamine (altretamine)

Alberto Manetta, Colin Macneill, Judith A. Lyter, Barbara Scheffler, Edward S. Podczaski, James E. Larson, Philip Schein

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4 Scopus citations


Hexamethylmelamine (altretamine, HMM) 260 mg/m2/day p.o. for 14 days followed by a 14-day drug-free interval was administered to 52 outpatients with advanced ovarian cancer who had previously been treated with chemotherapy. Prior to HMM, 92% (48/52) of these patients had received cisplatin and cyclophosphamide with or without doxorubicin. Two more patients received other cisplatin-based regimens. At the completion of HMM therapy, 15% (8/52) displayed no evidence of disease (NED). Of these eight patients, five are still alive 32 to 82 months after altretamine therapy (median follow-up of 46 months). At 41 months, one patient died of intercurrent illness with no clinical evidence of recurrence; the other two patients died of their disease at 21 and 31 months following HMM therapy. The median survival of the total group was 11 months: nine months for patients who did not respond to altretamine and 46+ months for patients with NED after altretamine (p < 0.05). Intermittent oral administration of single-agent altretamine was well tolerated: eight patients reported moderate gastrointestinal symptoms, and only one patient reported severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Moderate neurologic toxicity was reported by five patients. No WBC fell below 2000 mm3 and platelet counts fell below 100,000 mm3 in only three patients; no patient experienced severe hematologic toxicity. In this series of patients, the overall response (15%) was comparable to or better than those reported for more toxic chemotherapeutic regimens. On the basis of these data and those reported by other investigators, HMM warrants consideration as a reasonable option in the management of recurrent or persistent ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
Issue numberSUPPL. A
StatePublished - Mar 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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