Impact of interval debulking surgery on clinical outcome in primary unresectable FIGO stage IIIc ovarian cancer patients

Oncology. 2003;65(4):316-22. doi: 10.1159/000074644.


Objectives: To report the results of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) and the impact of interval debulking surgery (IDS) on clinical outcomes of patients considered unresectable at primary surgery.

Methods: Retrospective analysis was carried out on 73 consecutive stage IIIc ovarian cancer patients treated with platinum-based NACT followed by IDS. Their clinical outcomes were compared with those of 111 consecutive stage IIIc ovarian cancer patients treated with primary cytoreduction followed by platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy.

Results: Patients who underwent successful IDS had a more favorable prognosis than those who did not in terms of time to progression (TTP) (p = 0.00001), and overall survival (OS) (p = 0.0001). On the other hand, in the group of patients that underwent successful IDS, no differences in survival outcomes were observed between patients with no residual disease and patients with macroscopic residual disease <2 cm after IDS (p = n.s.).

Conclusions: NACT followed by successful IDS can achieve good results in terms of survival outcomes in a high percentage of chemoresponsive IIIc ovarian cancer patients classified as unresectable at primary surgery. These results are in fact inferior to those achievable with optimal primary cytoreduction; however, they were quite similar to those seen with suboptimal primary cytoreduction.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Tables
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Organoplatinum Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Ovariectomy / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Organoplatinum Compounds