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Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Jun;127(6):992-1002. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000001404.

Utilization and Outcomes of Chemotherapy in Women With Intermediate-Risk, Early-Stage Ovarian Cancer.

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Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, the Department of Urology, Weill Cornell Medical College, and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York.



To examine utilization and efficacy of chemotherapy for stage I ovarian cancer.


We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the National Cancer Data Base to identify women with stage I ovarian cancer treated from 1998 to 2012. Patients were classified into three groups based on grade and stage: stage IA or IB grade 1 (low risk); stage IA or IB grade 2 (intermediate risk); and stage IA or IB grade 3 or any stage IC (high risk). Multivariable models were developed to examine predictors of chemotherapy use and survival.


We identified 21,758 patients including 4,196 (19.3%) low-risk, 3,777 (17.4%) intermediate-risk, and 13,785 (63.4%) high-risk women. The median follow-up of the cohort was 63.9 months. Use of chemotherapy within the groups was 15.5%, 39.5%, and 69.8%, respectively (P<.001). Among low-risk patients, chemotherapy was not associated with a change in survival (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85-1.42), whereas chemotherapy was associated with reduced mortality for high-risk patients (adjusted HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.71-0.85). For intermediate-risk patients (stage IA-IB grade 2), chemotherapy was associated with a 26% reduction in mortality (adjusted HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.62-0.89). The association between chemotherapy and improved survival among intermediate-risk patients remained significant when limited to patients who underwent staging lymphadenectomy (adjusted HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.62-0.97).


There is widespread variation in the patterns of care for early-stage ovarian cancer. Chemotherapy was associated with improved survival for stage IA-IB grade 2 patients.

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