Background: The benefit of cytoreductive surgery for patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer has not been defined clearly. The objective of this study was to identify prognostic factors for survival in patients who underwent secondary cytoreduction for recurrent, platinum-sensitive epithelial ovarian cancer and to establish generally applicable guidelines and selection criteria.
Methods: The authors reviewed all patients who underwent secondary cytoreduction for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer from 1987 to 2001. Potential prognostic factors were evaluated in univariate and multivariate analyses.
Results: In total, 157 patients underwent secondary cytoreduction, and 153 of those patients were evaluable. After secondary cytoreduction, the median follow-up was 36.9 months (range, 0.2-125.6 months), and the median survival was 41.7 months (95% confidence interval, 36.0-47.2 months). For patients who had a disease-free interval prior to recurrence of between 6 months and 12 months, the median survival was 30 months compared with 39 months for patients who had a disease-free interval between 13 months and 30 months and 51 months for patients who had a disease-free interval >30 months (P = .005). For patients who had a single site of recurrence, the median survival was 60 months compared with 42 months for patients who had multiple sites of recurrence and 28 months for patients who had carcinomatosis (P <.001). The median survival for patients who had residual disease that measured < or =0.5 cm was 56 months compared with 27 months for patients who had residual disease that measured >0.5 cm (P <.001). On multivariate analysis, disease-free interval (P = .004), the number of recurrence sites (P = .01), and residual disease (P <.001) were significant prognostic factors.
Conclusions: In the authors' analysis of secondary cytoreduction for recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer, a significant survival benefit was demonstrated for residual disease that measured < or = 0.5 cm. The disease-free interval and the number of recurrence sites should be used as selection criteria for offering secondary cytoreduction.