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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2006 Nov;60(2):159-79. Epub 2006 Oct 2.

Ovarian cancer.

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European Institute of Oncology, Division of Gynecology, Via Ripamonti 435, Milan, Italy.


Ovarian cancer accounts for 4% of all cancers in women and is the leading cause of death from gynaecologic malignancies. Because early-stage ovarian cancer is generally asymptomatic, approximately 75% of women present with advanced disease at diagnosis. Survival is highly dependent on stage of disease: 5-year survival in patients with early-stage is 80-90% compared to 25% for patients with advanced-stage disease. For all patients, a comprehensive surgical staging should be performed to obtain the histological confirmation of diagnosis and to evaluate the extent of disease. Patients with early-stage should both be optimally staged and be treated with adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy if they have a medium or high-risk tumour. For advanced disease the currently recommended management is primary cytoreductive surgery followed by platinum-paclitaxel combination chemotherapy. Appropriate salvage therapy is based on the timing and nature of recurrence and the extent of prior chemotherapy. Surgical resection should be considered in patients with long-term remission, especially in those with isolated recurrences and good performance status. Platinum-based combination represents the standard second-line chemotherapy in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer. Salvage chemotherapy in platinum-refractory patients usually results in low response rates and short survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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