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Ann Oncol. 1995 Jul;6(6):571-4.

Central nervous system metastases in patients with ovarian carcinoma. A report of 23 cases and a literature review.

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III Department Clinica Osterica e Ginecologica-Università degli Studi di Milano, Ospedale S. Gerardo, Monza, Italy.



Central nervous system (CNS) involvement by ovarian carcinoma is rare.


From September 1982 to September 1994, 23 patients with CNS metastases from ovarian carcinoma were observed in our institution.


Their median age at the time of CNS metastasis diagnosis was 59 years, and the median interval between diagnosis of ovarian cancer and documentation of the metastasis was 35 months. The most common symptoms related to CNS involvement were motor weakness, headache, seizures, dizziness and visual disturbances. One patient had meningeal carcinomatosis; 22 had parenchymal lesions (18 cerebral and 4 cerebellar). Nine patients had a single CNS lesion, and 13 had multiple metastatic sites. CNS was the only site of disease in 9 patients, while 8 had concomitant extraperitoneal dissemination. The median survival (MS) from diagnosis of cerebral metastases for the entire series was five months. Four patients were not treated (MS 3 months); 14 received radiotherapy (MS 5.5 months), and five underwent surgical resection of solitary metastases followed by radiotherapy (MS 17 months). Number of CNS lesions, extent of the disease at the time of CNS metastasis and treatment were the only factors which significantly affected survival


The prognosis of patients with CNS metastasis from ovarian carcinoma appears poor. However, early diagnosis followed by multimodal treatment may result in significant palliation and improve overall survival in a selected group of patients.

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