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BJOG. 2012 Jan;119(2):202-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2011.03197.x. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Upper abdominal cytoreduction and thoracoscopy for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: unanswered questions and the impact on treatment.

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Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Gynaecological oncologists, by conducting Phase II and III chemotherapy trials, have sought to improve survival in women with epithelial ovarian cancer. The greatest impact on survival has been the use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy in women who have had all visible disease removed. No change in drug regimen has had an impact on survival equivalent to that associated with complete cytoreduction or the use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Interestingly, these two treatment modalities (complete cytoreduction and intraperitoneal chemotherapy) have not been universally adopted. Most often it is the inability to achieve optimal cytoreduction in the upper abdomen that defines the limit of the cytoreductive effort, and ultimately the integration of intraperitoneal chemotherapy. The importance of identifying disease outside the abdominal cavity, along with achieving complete cytoreduction, is paramount, if the use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy is to be logically integrated in treatment algorithms for women with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer. This report summarises pertinent literature on upper abdominal cytoreduction, discusses surgical techniques and introduces new data on women with epithelial ovarian cancer undergoing thoracoscopy, suggesting consideration of its incorporation into the surgical management of advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.

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