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Ann Surg Oncol. 2009 Feb;16(2):499-505. doi: 10.1245/s10434-008-0235-1. Epub 2008 Nov 19.

The use of sodium hyaluronate-carboxymethylcellulose (HA-CMC) barrier in gynecologic malignancies: a retrospective review of outcomes.

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  • 1University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.


Concerns exist regarding the safety of sodium hyaluronate-carboxymethylcellulose (HA-CMC, Seprafilm) adhesion barrier in regard to cancer survival as a result of in vitro data demonstrating that hyaluronan, a component of HA-CMC, may promote tumor growth. We sought to determine whether use of HA-CMC is associated with duration of disease-free or overall survival and rates of immediate complication in patients with gynecologic malignancies. We identified 202 consecutive patients with epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal cancer who underwent initial surgical staging or interval debulking at the University of Minnesota between January 2001 and December 2004. Information on patients' demographics, medical history, surgical procedures, postoperative complications, disease stage, histology, adjuvant therapy, and disease-free and overall survival was collected from medical records. Survival curves were compared between patients receiving or not receiving HA-CMC by stratified Cox regression models, log rank, and Wilcoxon tests. The level of significance was set to alpha = .05 for each test. Eighty patients received intraoperative placement of HA-CMC and 122 did not. Immediate postoperative complication rates were equivalent in both groups. Median follow-up was 2.1 years. There was no difference in disease-free survival (5-year estimate 23.6% vs. 33.3%, P = .80) or overall survival (5-year estimate 29.7% vs. 40.3%, P = .75) between those who received HA-CMC and those who did not. Our retrospective analysis suggests that HA-CMC adhesion barrier does not affect disease-free survival or overall survival; nor does it increase the immediate postoperative complication rates in patients undergoing abdominal surgery for ovarian, fallopian tube, and primary peritoneal carcinomas.

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