Introduction: The majority of patients diagnosed with ovarian cancer are in an advanced stage of the disease at the time of first diagnosis. The standard clinical staging (FIGO) occurs intraoperatively. The FIGO classification hides ambiguities and is useful as a means of orientation. However, an exact assessment of stage at first diagnosis, can form the basis for the evaluation of diagnostic and prognostic factors and furthermore has influence on adjuvant treatment.
Method: We developed a systematic surgical and histopathological tumor documentation instrument, further we investigated its clinical and scientific application.
Results: Between September 2000 and July 2002, 128 patients with primary and recurrent ovarian cancer were operated and prospectively documented. The median age of the patients at the time of first diagnosis was 55 years. The majority of patients diagnosed with primary ovarian cancer had a diffuse tumor spread pattern (localised: 18 [32 %]; central: 14 [25 %]; diffuse: 24 [43 %]). In patients diagnosed with recurrent ovarian cancer the three defined tumor spread patterns showed a comparable distribution (localised 19 [28 %]; central: 19 [28 % ]; diffused: 29 [43 %]). While in most of the patients with primary ovarian cancer the highest tumor mass was concentrated in the lower abdomen/ pelvis, in comparison, in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer it was located mostly in the upper abdomen ("change of level", p=0,027).
Conclusions: The IMO (Interoperative Mapping of Ovarian Cancer) represents a new instrument for a detailed and objective documentation of surgical and pathological results of patients with ovarian cancer and helps provide a more precise staging. Potentially this prospective documentation support the development of SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures) and could be an efficacious instrument of quality management.