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Am J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb;31(1):39-42. doi: 10.1097/COC.0b013e318134ee6f.

For women receiving chemotherapy for clinically apparent early ovarian cancer, is there a benefit to surgical staging?

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  • 1Program in Women's Oncology, Women & Infants Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02905, USA. ddizon@wihri.org



For women with early stage ovarian cancer (ESOC), comprehensive staging is the standard of care and studies suggest that these patients may not require further treatment. For women with incidentally diagnosed ovarian cancer there is a lack of consensus as to whether surgical staging be performed, particularly if chemotherapy is recommended.


We performed this retrospective study to determine the outcomes of women treated with chemotherapy for clinically apparent ESOC, stratified by whether staging was performed or not.


This study was approved by institutional review board. All patients presenting to the Multidisciplinary Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board between 1998 and 2005 with a consensus opinion of having clinically apparent ESOC were identified. Staging (partial or complete) was determined by a study pathologist and patients were stratified as being staged or unstaged. Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. STATA 8.0 was used for all calculations.


Eighty-eight patients were identified: 52 (59%) were staged and 36 (31%) were not. Median follow-up was 50 and 59.5 months, respectively. The majority of patients received carboplatin and paclitaxel in both cohorts with a median of 6 cycles. Five-year Disease Free Survival was 85% versus 80%, respectively (P = 0.54). Five-year Overall Survival was 85% versus 88% (P = 0.688).


For women presenting with a clinically apparent ESOC in whom chemotherapy is administered, there does not seem to be an additional benefit to surgical staging. A prospective trial of women with clinically apparent ESOC to test this hypothesis should be considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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