Procedures required to accomplish complete cytoreduction of ovarian cancer: is there a correlation with "biological aggressiveness" and survival?

Gynecol Oncol. 2001 Sep;82(3):435-41. doi: 10.1006/gyno.2001.6313.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine if the necessity of using specific procedures to attain complete cytoreduction in ovarian cancer correlates with innate biologic aggressiveness and independently influences survival.

Methods: Between 1990 and 2000, 213 patients with Stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer underwent complete cytoreduction before initiation of systemic platinum-based combination chemotherapy. Survival was stratified and analyzed (log rank and Cox regression) on the basis of whether extrapelvic bowel resection, diaphragm stripping, full-thickness diaphragm resection, modified posterior pelvic exenteration, peritoneal implant ablation and/or aspiration, and excision of grossly involved retroperitoneal lymph nodes were necessary to attain a visibly disease-free cytoreductive outcome.

Results: The median and estimated 5-year survival for the cohort were 75.8 months and 54%, respectively. Survival was influenced (log rank) by the requirement of diaphragm stripping (required, median 42 months vs not required, median 79 months; P = 0.03) and the extent of mesenteric and serosal implants that required removal (none, median not reached, vs 1-50 implants, median not reached, vs >50 implants, median 40 months; P = 0.002). Survival was independently influenced (Cox regression) only by the extent of peritoneal metastatic implants that required removal (P = 0.01). The other investigated procedures and type of chemotherapy used did not influence survival.

Conclusions: The need to remove a large number of peritoneal implants correlates with biological aggressiveness and diminished survival, but not significantly enough to preclude long-term survival or justify abbreviation of the operative effort. The need to use the other investigated procedures had minimal or no observed influence on survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cisplatin / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel
  • Cisplatin