Objective: To develop a guidance document concerning the use of systemic therapy for women with recurrent ovarian cancer that would be applicable for the Canadian health care system. This will be done using a standardized systematic review process, guideline evaluation instruments, multi-disciplinary expert consensus opinion and evidence-rating systems.
Data selection: The primary data sources were MEDLINE, National Guideline Clearinghouse and Cochrane Library.
Methods: Clinical practice guidelines, technology assessments, systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials addressing systemic therapy for women with recurrent ovarian cancer were eligible.
Data extraction: Data was identified and extracted by the methodology team and reviewed by the authors. Results were reviewed and discussed by members of an expert working group comprised of a multidisciplinary and geographic divergent group of practitioners.
Data synthesis: The existing 7 practice guidelines underwent formal evaluation for quality, currency and content using the AGREE tool. Recommendations with evidence-ratings were developed. This data was used by a pan-Canadian panel in an informal consensus process, which resulted in the initial draft of a guideline. The guideline team reviewed the draft and made further edits to ensure the guideline's appropriateness for a national context. Practitioner feedback was requested from 165 health care providers who treat ovarian cancer from across Canada. Overall response rate was 37% and was very positive. Comments were reviewed and the guideline was edited appropriately.
Conclusion: The development of a national practice guideline on the use of systemic therapy for recurrent ovarian cancer was feasible using systematic literature review, expert consensus, guideline evaluation instruments, evidence-rating systems, independent internal and external review measures and final approval by a national discipline specific society (GOC). Recommendations for practice are offered.