OBJECTIVE; To compare the survival rates in younger (45 years or younger) and older women (over 45) diagnosed with advanced-stage invasive epithelial ovarian cancer. Clinical and pathologic factors responsible for survival differences between the two groups were also determined.
Methods: All younger women with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian carcinoma diagnosed between 1984 and 2001 were identified from tumor registry databases at two hospitals. Patients with borderline tumors were excluded. An older group of comparable controls was selected for comparison. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to determine the predictors for survival.
Results: Of 104 women with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian carcinoma, 52 were 45 or younger and the rest were over 45. The 5-year survival rate and median survival in younger patients were 48% and 54 months, compared with 22% and 34 months in the older women (P =.003). Younger women had significantly better performance status than older patients, and survival remained significantly better in younger women based on Kaplan-Meier analysis stratified by performance status (0 versus 1 to 2, P =.02). Furthermore, overall survival was significantly better in younger women after stratification by stage (III versus IV, P =.002) and by cytoreductive surgery (optimal versus suboptimal, P =.003). Multivariable analysis demonstrated that all these factors remained as significant independent prognostic factors for survival.
Conclusion: Younger women with advanced-stage invasive epithelial ovarian cancer have significantly improved survival rates relative to older patients. Age, performance status, stage of disease, and extent of cytoreductive surgery are important independent prognostic factors for survival.