PURPOSE: We performed a pilot phase II study to evaluate the potential for delivery of rapidly sequenced high-dose chemotherapy treatments rescued with autologous peripheral-blood progenitor cells (PBP) in patients with previously untreated, advanced ovarian cancer.PATIENTS AND METHODS: A single cycle of mobilization was used, primed with cyclophosphamide (CPA)/paclitaxel (Txl) and filgrastim (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [G-CSF]), followed by three cycles of high-dose carboplatin (CBDCA)/Txl and one cycle of high-dose melphalan (MEL), each rescued by PBP. We then analyzed the outcome for a total of 56 consecutive patients treated with high-dose chemotherapy as part of this program.RESULTS: In the phase II pilot, 21 patients were enrolled. There were no treatment-related deaths through 98 high-dose treatments, although 34 treatments were complicated by hospitalization, primarily for neutropenic fever. Seventy-six percent of patients experienced grade 3 to 4 gastrointestinal toxicity and 62% experienced grade 2 to 3 neuropathy. Five of 15 (33%) patients who underwent second-look surgery attained a pathologic complete response. In the overall analysis, 56 patients were reviewed. Forty-four patients were assessable for response by second-look surgery or clinical progression. Fifteen of 44 patients achieved a pathologic complete response (34%). The pathologic complete response rate in optimal-disease patients was 12 of 22 (55%), while only three of 22 (13%) suboptimal stage III and IV patients achieved a pathologic complete response.CONCLUSION: The Gynecologic Oncology Group has initiated a pilot phase II trial of this approach in patients with optimally debulked stage III ovarian cancer. There is no evidence to support the use of this or other aggressive regimens outside of a clinical trial.