Epidemiologic analysis reveals that the mortality rate from ovarian cancer is continuously decreasing due to the improvement of surgery and chemotherapy. However, the prognosis of ovarian cancer patients is still unsatisfactory overall considering that only 30% of patients are alive after five years. In fact, although surgery and first-line systemic chemotherapy induces complete and partial response in up to 80% of patients with about a 25% pathological complete remission rate, recurrences occur in the majority of patients. The role of surgery in recurrent disease has been recently studied and many patients can receive an optimal secondary cytoreduction. Most of the recurrent patients are subject to a number of treatment regimens that, although palliative in nature, are also able to prolong survival. Important results have been obtained in particular in platinum-sensitive recurrent disease where a platinum-based chemotherapy is able to prolong progression-free survival and overall survival. Overall, our armamentarium for the treatment of progressive or recurrent ovarian cancer is significantly richer than in the past, and in many patients it is possible to achieve our goal of controlling the chronic behavior of the disease.
Keywords: chemotherapy; ovarian cancer.