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Gynecol Oncol. 2003 Jan;88(1):9-16.

Quality of life in women treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer: a prospective longitudinal study.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, China.



The purpose was to examine the outcomes of patients with advanced ovarian cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, with a special emphasis on the patients' quality of life (QOL).


Seventeen patients with advanced ovarian cancer were treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy based on the extent of disease on computer tomography. All patients received combined platinum/paclitaxel chemotherapy. Debulking surgery was performed after three cycles or six cycles of chemotherapy, depending on the response to the chemotherapy. Patients' QOL was studied over time using European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 and was then compared with that of patients treated with conventional treatment in the previous cohort.


The response rate to chemotherapy assessed at three cycles was 82.4%. The rate of optimum debulking to residual disease less than 2 cm after chemotherapy was 76.9%, and 38.5% had no gross residual disease after surgery. The median overall survival was 22.9 months. The median disease-free interval was 13.3 months. The overall QOL improved after chemotherapy and this continued to improve up to 12 months. The other functional scales also showed improvements over time, apart from the initial transient deterioration in the role functioning and cognitive functioning at 3 months after chemotherapy. Patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy seem to have better but statistically insignificant difference in QOL parameters than patients treated conventionally.


Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is an alternative treatment for patients with advanced ovarian cancer in whom the chance of optimal cytoreduction is low. The patients' overall quality of life and functional status improve after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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