Small cell of the ovary, hypercalcemic type -- analysis of combined experience and recommendation for management. A GCIG study

Gynecol Oncol. 2006 Feb;100(2):233-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2005.10.024.


Small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) is a rare tumor typically affecting young women. It is an aggressive malignancy with a poor prognosis and few long-term survivors.

Objective: Investigate the outcome of patients with SCCOHT.

Method: Data were collected for patients with SCCOHT treated in Australia, Canada and Europe. Information included stage, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, recurrence and survival.

Results: The median follow-up is 13 months for all patients and 35.5 months in surviving patients. Ten patients had FIGO stage I tumors, six stage III tumors and one stage unknown. All underwent surgical resection. Adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy was given to all patients. Seven received adjuvant radiotherapy with either pelvic and para-aortic radiotherapy, average dose 46.5 Gy (40 Gy/25# - 50.4 Gy/23#), or pelvic and whole abdominal radiotherapy, average dose 45 Gy to pelvis and 25 Gy (22.5 Gy/22# - 30 Gy/25#) to abdomen. The median survival for stage I tumors was not reached and was 6 months for stage III tumors. For the ten patients with stage I tumors: six received adjuvant radiotherapy with five alive and disease-free; four received no adjuvant radiotherapy with one alive and disease-free, while three have relapsed with one alive and disease-free after resection. Of the seven patients with stage III or unknown stage tumors, all but one have died. Recurrences were most frequent in the pelvis and the abdomen. Patients receiving salvage treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy did poorly.

Conclusion: We advocate a multi-modality treatment approach including surgery, chemotherapy with the addition of radiotherapy either sequentially or concurrently.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / classification
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercalcemia / pathology*
  • Hysterectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / blood
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / classification*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Ovariectomy
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Treatment Outcome