How many ovarian cancer patients are eligible for fertility-sparing surgery?

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2013 Sep;170(1):270-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2013.06.039. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Objective: To assess how many epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) patients are eligible for fertility-sparing surgery (FSS) in a population-based study.

Study design: Using data from the Geneva Cancer Registry, we conducted a retrospective review of all women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) between January 1979 and December 2008. Patients were classified into two age groups ("young group"≤45 years and "old group">45 years) and as "eligible for FSS" (FIGO IA, G1-G2 or unilateral ICG1) and "non-eligible for FSS" (FIGO IA, G3; IC G2-G3; IB or II-IV). Patients and tumor characteristics were tested with the chi-square test. Estimates of survival were calculated using the Kaplan-Meyer method and differences between groups were analyzed by the log-rank test.

Results: A total of 888 EOC patients were analyzed. The young group included 87 patients (9.8%): eleven (1.2%) were identified as eligible for FSS and 6 (0.6%) were nulliparous. The annual incidence of EOC women eligible for FSS in Geneva was 0.48/100,000 (0.5 women/year) and the expected annual incidence rate for Switzerland (8 million inhabitants) is 6.5 women/year.

Conclusion: Only a very small proportion of EOC patients are eligible for FSS. These results highlight the need to centralize FSS data in dedicated European units, in order to maintain expertise and quality of care for these patients.

Keywords: Conservative surgery; Epithelial ovarian carcinoma; Fertility-sparing surgery; Ovarian cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cystadenocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Fertility Preservation*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Young Adult