Neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by tumor debulking prolongs survival for patients with poor prognosis in International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IIIC ovarian Carcinoma

Walther Kuhn, Stefan Rutke, Kerstin Spaan̈the, Barbara Schmalfeldt, Gerd Florack, Burkhardt Vonhundelshausen, Dmytro Pachyn, Kurt Ulm, Henner Graeff

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198 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND. Patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma of International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Stage IIIC should be treated by radical surgical tumor debulking with the goal of complete tumor resection. Prolonged median survival can be achieved in those patients entirely free of tumor after surgery by the administration of postsurgical platinum/taxane-based chemotherapy regimens. However, residual tumor is present in the majority of patients, which limits survival prognosis. Different therapy approaches should be utilized to improve prognosis in these patients. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy could induce "downstaging" of the tumor and thus improve operability. Here, evidence of large ascites volume (>500 mL) can be used to identify those patients who could benefit from neoadjuvant chemotherapy. METHODS. In a prospective, nonrandomized Phase II study, 31 patients with advanced FIGO Stage IIIC ovarian carcinoma and large ascites volume (>500 mL) received 3 cycles of platinum/taxane-based combination chemotherapy, followed by tumor debulking surgery and 3 additional cycles of platinum/taxane-based combination chemotherapy. During the same period, 32 patients with advanced FIGO Stage IIIC ovarian carcinoma and large ascites volume (>500 mL) received conventional therapy (tumor debulking surgery followed by 6 cycles of platinum/taxane-based combination chemotherapy). The two groups were investigated and compared with respect to tumor resection rates, blood transfusion requirements, morbidity, and mortality during surgery, duration of surgery, and median survival. RESULTS. The tumor resection rate in the patient group receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy was significantly higher (P = 0.04) than that of the conventionally treated group; the median survival time of 42 months versus 23 months also was significantly longer (P = 0.007). Time spent in surgery, blood transfusion requirements, morbidity, and mortality during surgery were not significantly different. CONCLUSIONS. Patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma of FIGO Stage IIIC who will benefit only marginally from conventional therapy can be identified by evidence of large ascites volume. Higher tumor resection rates and longer median survival can be achieved in these patients by the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. A prospective randomized multicenter study currently is being performed by the Society for Gynecological Oncology in Germany to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2585-2591
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume92
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2001

Keywords

  • Ascites
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Prognosis of ovarian carcinoma
  • Prognostic factors

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