Conservative management of early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer: results of a large retrospective series

Ann Oncol. 2013 Jan;24(1):138-44. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds241. Epub 2012 Sep 3.


Background: To assess the long-term oncological outcome and the fertility of young women with early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer (ES/EOC) treated with fertility-sparing surgery (FSS).

Patients and methods: All patients treated with FSS for ES/EOC in two Italian centers were considered for this analysis. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to test demographic characteristics and clinical features for the association with overall survival (OS), recurrence-free survival (RFS) and fertility.

Results: From 1982 to 2010, 240 patients with malignant ES/EOC were treated with FSS in two tertiary centers in Italy. At a median follow-up of 9 years, 27 patients had relapsed (11%) and 11 (5%) had died of progressive disease. Multivariate analysis found only grade 3 negatively affected the prognosis of patients [hazard ratio (HR) for recurrence: 4.2, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.5-11.7, P=0.0067; HR for death: 7.6, 95% CI: 2.0-29.3, P=0.0032]. Grade 3 was also significantly associated with extra-ovarian relapse (P=0.006). Of the 105 patients (45%) who tried to become pregnant, 84 (80%) were successful.

Conclusions: Conservative treatment can be proposed to all young patients when tumor is limited to the ovaries, as ovarian recurrences can always be managed successfully. Patients with G3 tumors are more likely to have distant recurrences and should be closely monitored.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis