Timing of surgery and the role of cytoreductive chemotherapy in patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma

E. Negretti, M. Zambetti, L. Luciani, L. Gianni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We retrospectively selected 27 consecutive patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma (15 stage III, 11 stage IV and 1 relapse) who had an unresectable intraabdominal tumor at presentation and prospectively evaluated the overall treatment outcome. Patients were initially treated with chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin-containing regimens in 20 cases, adriamycin and cyclophosphamide in 5, and melphalan in 2. Treatment was continued until maximal tumor response or progression. Following a median of 6 cycles of chemotherapy, all patients underwent debulking surgery. Six women were without evidence of disease and 13 had minimal residual disease after surgery, for an overal 70% rate of optimal debulking. Patients with evidence of disease at laparotomy were treated with 5 additional cycles of chemotherapy, and response was then assessed at laparotomy except for patients with progressive disease. Nine (33%) patients were pathologic complete responders at the end of the entire treatment program. Overall median survival time was 26 months, with a median relapse-free survival of 33 months. Tumor responses were not associated with any particular chemotherapy regimen. The results achieved in this series of patients together with the data from the literature suggests that use of a cytoreductive chemotherapy of short duration has the potential of increasing the rate of optimal debulking surgery. Furthermore, it may contribute to a better disease control in women with bulky ovarian carcinoma compared to the present strategy, which consists of surgery followed by chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-572
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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