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Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Sep;82(3):489-97.

What are the current surgical objectives, strategies, and technical capabilities of gynecologic oncologists treating advanced epithelial ovarian cancer?

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  • 1Womens' Cancer Center, Encino-Tarzana, 5525 Etiwanda Avenue, Suite 311, Tarzana, California 91356, USA.



The purpose of this survey was to determine the range of surgical objectives, strategies, and outcomes of primary cytoreductive operations performed by gynecologic oncologists.


A survey addressing the definition of "optimal" cytoreduction, the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, disease sites precluding optimal cytoreduction, reasons optimal cytoreduction or cytoreduction to a visibly disease-free outcome is or is not accomplished, the use of 15 specific operative procedures, and attitude toward postfellowship training in the surgical management of advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer was mailed to candidate and full members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. Analysis of discrete and binomial data utilized the chi(2) and independent samples t tests. Logistic regression confirmed relationships between responses and both the definition of optimal cytoreduction and the attitudes toward postfellowship training.


Three hundred ninety-three (61.4%) of 640 physicians provided utilizable data. A median of 95% of patients were reported to be operated on primarily and 5% were treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (P < 0.0001). A median of 9 (range 0-15) of the surveyed procedures were utilized. Forty-seven (12.0%) respondents defined optimal cytoreduction as no residual disease, 54 (13.7%) used a 5-mm threshold, 239 (60.8%) used a 1-cm threshold, and 48 (12.6%) utilized a 1.5- to 2.0-cm threshold. Small dimensions of residual disease (0-5 mm versus 1-2 cm) defined optimal cytoreduction for physicians indicating that fewer disease sites precluded optimal cytoreduction (P = 0.02), using a larger number of the surveyed procedures (P = 0.04), and in practice longer (P = 0.001). Three hundred seventeen (83.9%) of 378 respondents favored development of postfellowship training in cytoreductive surgery. Physicians against postfellowship training used fewer of the surveyed procedures because of concerns about efficacy (P = 0.01). More recent fellowship graduates favored postfellowship training (P = 0.01).


A range of surgical objectives, strategies, procedures used, and outcomes exists among gynecologic oncologists. Confirmation of the efficacy of cytoreductive surgery may cultivate a consensus about the most appropriate therapeutic objective and strategy for advanced ovarian cancer. Cooperative efforts should be undertaken to offer postfellowship training.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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