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Ann Oncol. 2011 Feb;22(2):341-7. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdq383. Epub 2010 Aug 6.

Histotype predicts the curative potential of radiotherapy: the example of ovarian cancers.

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  • 1The Gynecology Tumour Group.



To explore the influence of ovarian cancer histotype on the effectiveness of adjuvant radiotherapy (RT).


A review of a population-based experience included all referred women with no reported macroscopic residuum following primary surgery who underwent adjuvant platin-based chemotherapy (CT), with or without sequential RT, and for whom it was possible to assign histotype according to the contemporary criteria.


Seven hundred and three subjects were eligible, of these 351 received RT. For those with apparent stage I and II tumors, the cohort with clear cell (C), endometrioid (E), and mucinous (M) disease who additionally received RT exhibited a 40% reduction in disease-specific mortality and a 43% reduction in overall mortality.


The curability of those with stage I and II C-, E-, and M-type ovarian carcinomas was enhanced by RT-containing adjuvant therapy. This benefit did not extend to those with stage III or serous tumors. These findings necessitate reassessments of the role of RT and of the nonselective surgical and CT approaches that have characterized ovarian cancer care.

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