Background: Epithelial ovarian carcinoma is the main cause of death from gynaecological cancers in the western world. The initial response rate to the frontline therapy is high. However, the prognosis of persistent and recurrent disease remains poor. During the two past decades, a new therapeutic approach to peritoneal carcinomatosis has been developed, combining maximal cytoreductive effort with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).
Methods: A retrospective, multicentric study of 246 patients with recurrent or persistent ovarian cancer, treated by cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC in two French centers between 1991 and 2008, was performed.
Results: An optimal cytoreductive surgery was possible in 92.2 % of patients. Mortality and morbidity rates were 0.37 % and 11.6 %, respectively. The overall median survival was 48.9 months. There was no significant difference in overall survival in patients with persistent or recurrent disease. In multivariate analysis, performance status was a significant prognostic factor in patients with extensive peritoneal carcinomatosis (peritoneal cancer index >10).
Conclusions: Salvage therapy combining optimal cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC is feasible and may achieve long-term survival in highly selected patients with recurrent ovarian carcinoma, including those with platinum resistant disease, with acceptable morbidity.