Purpose: To evaluate the relative effect of percent maximal cytoreductive surgery and other prognostic variables on survival among cohorts of patients with advanced-stage ovarian carcinoma treated with platinum-based chemotherapy.
Materials and methods: Eighty-one cohorts of patients with stage III or IV ovarian carcinoma (6,885 patients) were identified from articles in MEDLINE (1989 through 1998). Linear regression models, with weighted correlation calculations, were used to assess the effects on log median survival time of the proportion of each cohort undergoing maximal cytoreduction, dose-intensity of the platinum compound administered, proportion of patients with stage IV disease, median age, and year of publication.
Results: There was a statistically significant positive correlation between percent maximal cytoreduction and log median survival time, and this correlation remained significant after controlling for all other variables (P <.001). Each 10% increase in maximal cytoreduction was associated with a 5.5% increase in median survival time. When actuarial survival was estimated, cohorts with < or = 25% maximal cytoreduction had a mean weighted median survival time of 22.7 months, whereas cohorts with more than 75% maximal cytoreduction had a mean weighted median survival time of 33.9 months--an increase of 50%. The relationship between platinum dose-intensity and log median survival time was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: During the platinum era, maximal cytoreduction was one of the most powerful determinants of cohort survival among patients with stage III or IV ovarian carcinoma. Consistent referral of patients with apparent advanced ovarian cancer to expert centers for primary surgery may be the best means currently available for improving overall survival.