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Gynecol Oncol. 1991 Aug;42(2):146-50.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and interval debulking for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.

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  • 1Department of Gynecology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030.


A retrospective matched-control study was conducted to review our experience with FIGO stage III and IV epithelial ovarian cancer in patients referred after initial laparotomy and biopsy only. The study group comprised 22 patients; planned treatment was two to four cycles of chemotherapy, interval debulking surgery, six more chemotherapy cycles, and second-look laparotomy. Two control groups were matched with the study group according to FIGO stage, histologic type, and grade (2 or 3) and patient age +/- 5 years. The first control group (22 patients) had greater than 2 cm residual disease after initial surgery; their planned treatment was a minimum of six cycles of chemotherapy plus second-look laparotomy. The second control group (18 patients) was referred after initial laparotomy and biopsy only; their disease was immediately reexplored and debulked. Subsequent planned treatment was a minimum of six cycles of chemotherapy plus second-look laparotomy. All patients received cisplatin-based chemotherapy. Optimal cytoreduction to less than or equal to 2 cm was achieved for 77% of the study group vs 39% of the immediate-reexploration group (P = 0.02). Median survival times for the three groups were not different (16 vs 19.3 vs 18 months, respectively) (P = 0.58). Within the study group, patients who were optimally debulked survived significantly longer than those who were not (18.1 vs 7.5 months) (P = 0.02). Morbidity of the interval debulking procedure was acceptable. Study findings suggest that patients with bulky residual disease have a uniformly poor prognosis regardless of the timing of further surgery.

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