Adherence to Hematologic Hold Parameters in Carboplatin and Dose-Dense Paclitaxel Chemotherapy for Ovarian Malignancies: A Survey of NCCN Member Institutions

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Objective: To determine the adherence to hematologic chemotherapy hold parameters for the carboplatin and dose-dense paclitaxel chemotherapy regimen in patients with ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancers. Methods: This is a quality assessment survey study. All 26 NCCN Member Institutions were contacted electronically. Hematologic chemotherapy hold parameter values (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] and platelet count) on days 1, 8, and 15 of each cycle were queried. These hold parameters were compared with published data supporting the use of dose-dense chemotherapy regimens in ovarian cancer. Results: The overall survey response rate was 85% (22/26 sites). Of responders, 27% (6 sites) were fully adherent with all hematologic hold parameters and 64% (14 sites) used hold parameters that differed from the published protocol. Specifically, all of these sites use hold parameters higher than those recommended in the literature. Two centers did not have center-specific hold parameters. Conclusions: Carboplatin and dose-dense paclitaxel chemotherapy has been shown to increase progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with stage II–IV ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancers. However, our study found that two-thirds of queried sites had hold parameters higher than those in the published protocol. Using more stringent hold parameters may lead to compromised clinical outcomes. Further research is necessary to determine the optimal strategy to increase individual site adherence to chemotherapy hematologic hold parameters as specified in published trials.

Correspondence: Shitanshu Uppal, MBBS, University of Michigan, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, 1500 East Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail:

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