Current and future options in the treatment of malignant ascites in ovarian cancer

Anticancer Res. 2009 Aug;29(8):3353-9.


Background: Malignant ascites is a frequent problem for ovarian carcinoma patients. Typical symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea and dyspnea reduce quality of life. In this study, different treatment options for malignant ascites due to ovarian carcinoma were sought.

Materials and methods: Articles and reviews found in PubMed and reference books were evaluated and compared to each other.

Results: Many treatment options exist. Current treatment options include paracentesis, intraperitoneal chemotherapy and therapy using intraperitoneal tumor necrosis factor alpha for example. Compared to other reviews, catumaxomab, a new antibody, was presented and the treatment options were focused on ovarian carcinoma patients. All these methods are palliative.

Conclusion: The treatment of malignant ascites keeps a demanding difficulty and requires further study especially on progressive free survival and overall survival. Paracentesis and systemic therapy with a later effect are recommended at the moment. Catumaxomab is the only medication that could achieve an improvement.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Ascites / etiology
  • Ascites / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / complications
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Palliative Care
  • Paracentesis
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / surgery