Current status of the treatment of gynecologic cancer by site: ovary

Cancer. 1976 Jul;38(1 SUPPL):610-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(197607)38:1<610::aid-cncr2820380186>;2-t.


Cancer of the ovary is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer. The constant challenge presented by ovarian cancer is that about 11,000 women die from ovarian cancer each year and the results in 1974 are no better than have been achieved in the previous two decades. Standard practice of treatment for truly invasive common epithelial ovarian cancer includes total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, appendectomy, omentectomy, and post-surgical insertion of tubes and administration of P32 (if the disease is of limited extent). Although it is occasionally necessary to resect isolated segments of bowel, exenterative or ultraradical surgery in the management of ovarian cancer is not usually chosen because of the natural history of the disease. However, aggressive surgery is indicated not so much because it is curative, but because it potentiates other forms of treatment. All stages I through IV are treated surgically, to remove as much tumor as possible without running a risk of a gastrointestinal or genitourinary fistula. Radiation therapy has been utilized in addition to the surgical therapy in stage IV to control supraclavicular and/or inguinal node involvement. Single agent alkylating chemotherapy is chosen for the treatment of common epithelial ovarian cancers. Combination chemotherapy does not produce better results at this time, except in the treatment of embryonal tumors. The treatment of the common epithelial tumors by stage is outlined. The treatment of germ cell tumors, gonadal stromal tumors, ovarian tumors in childhood, ovarian tumors in pregnancy, as well as tumors not specific for the ovary, will also be discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alkylating Agents / therapeutic use
  • Appendectomy
  • Castration
  • Child
  • Dysgerminoma / therapy
  • Female
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms, Gonadal Tissue / therapy
  • Omentum / surgery
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pelvic Exenteration
  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Sarcoma / therapy
  • Sertoli Cell Tumor / therapy
  • Teratoma / therapy


  • Alkylating Agents
  • Phosphorus Radioisotopes