Send to

Choose Destination
Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2016;35:153-62. doi: 10.14694/EDBK_160624.

Primary Surgery or Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy in Advanced Ovarian Cancer: The Debate Continues….

Author information

From the Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom; St. Peters College, National Cancer Intelligence Network, Public Health England, National Health Service, Birmingham, United Kingdom; School of Cancer Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom; Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, University College London, London, United Kingdom; Gustave Roussy Cancer Centre, Translational Research Laboratory, Gustave Roussy Cancer Centre, Villejuif, France.


Primary debulking surgery (PDS) followed by platinum-based chemotherapy has been the cornerstone of treatment for advanced ovarian cancer for decades. Primary debulking surgery has been repeatedly identified as one of the key factors in improving survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer, especially when minimal or no residual disease is left behind. Achieving these results sometimes requires extensive abdominal and pelvic surgical procedures and consultation with other surgical teams. Some clinicians who propose a primary chemotherapy approach reported an increased likelihood of leaving no macroscopic disease after surgery and improved patient-reported outcomes and quality-of-life (QOL) measures. Given the ongoing debate regarding the relative benefit of PDS versus neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT), tumor biology may aid in patient selection for each approach. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy offers the opportunity for in vivo chemosensitivity testing. Studies are needed to determine the best way to evaluate the impact of NACT in each individual patient with advanced ovarian cancer. Indeed, the biggest utility of NACT may be in research, where this approach provides the opportunity for the investigation of predictive markers, mechanisms of resistance, and a forum to test novel therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Society of Clinical Oncology
Loading ...
Support Center