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Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Jan;73(1):61-5.

Neoadjuvant (cytoreductive) chemotherapy combined with intervention debulking surgery in advanced, unresected epithelial ovarian cancer.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


Thirty-six patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, incompletely resected at primary laparotomy, were treated with one of two intensive cis-platinum-based combination chemotherapy regimens. The intention was to perform further surgical debulking (intervention debulking surgery) after three cycles in patients responding to treatment. Intervention debulking surgery was carried out in 28 of 36 patients (78%) at a median interval of 12.7 weeks from primary diagnosis. Omentectomy and total abdominal hysterectomy were the most commonly performed procedures at intervention debulking. As a result of such surgery, 16 of the 28 women (57%) were left with no macroscopic residual disease, five (18%) had less than 1 cm, four (14%) less than 2 cm residuum, and three (11%) remained with more extensive disease. Post-intervention debulking surgical complications were few, with a median postoperative hospital stay of 10 days and a median interval of 21 days from debulking surgery to resumption of chemotherapy. Neoadjuvant (cytoreductive) chemotherapy combined with early secondary surgical debulking is feasible, with little severe morbidity, and can leave a high proportion of patients free of macroscopic disease. The effect of such a program on patient survival is now being tested in a randomized study.

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