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J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2014 May;40(5):1399-406. doi: 10.1111/jog.12320. Epub 2014 Mar 9.

Benefit of palliative chemotherapy and hospice enrollment in late-stage ovarian cancer patients.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.



The ideal timing for transition to best supportive care (BSC) for ovarian cancer patients is not clear. We retrospectively assessed the survival benefit of continuing chemotherapy and hospice enrollment in late-stage ovarian cancer patients.


Eligibility criteria included platinum and taxane treatment, clinical progression within 6 months of the last platinum dose, and progression during chemotherapy.


Of the 55 eligible patients (median overall survival after first becoming refractory [1st Ref], 96 days), 22 received chemotherapy (Chemo group), two received radiation therapy, and 13 had medical contraindications for subsequent chemotherapy. The remaining 18 patients (BSC group) were compared with the Chemo group. The Chemo and BSC groups had similar background characteristics, except for the rate of consultation with a regional palliative care physician before or within 1 week of 1st Ref (9% vs 50%, respectively). In multivariate analysis, chemotherapy (hazard ratio 0.251, P = 0.005) and hospice enrollment (hazard ratio, 0.274, P = 0.023) were predictive factors of survival after 1st Ref.


Chemotherapy after 1st Ref can be offered and hospice enrollment during the terminal stages is encouraged for recurrent ovarian cancer patients.

© 2014 The Authors. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research © 2014 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


chemotherapy; hospice; ovarian cancer; palliative care; refractory disease

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