Prognostic role of early versus late onset of bone metastasis in patients with carcinoma of the ovary, peritoneum and fallopian tube

Ann Oncol. 2013 Dec;24(12):3024-8. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdt398. Epub 2013 Oct 14.


Background: Bone metastases are a rare manifestation in the management of ovarian cancer and thought to be associated with a poor prognosis as sign of distant spread. Only few data exist on this rare condition. The present study aimed to more information on this very distinct patient collective.

Patients and methods: A retrospective chart review was carried out including all patients who had been treated from 1994 to 2009 for histologically confirmed ovarian, peritoneal and fallopian tube cancer. Overall, 1717 cases were detected and screened. Patients with bone metastasis were identified and analyzed regarding survival as well as various clinical variables.

Results: A total of 26 women who had been diagnosed with bone metastases ante mortem could be identified, resulting in an incidence of 1.50%. The majority of patients presented multiple bone lesions (80.8%) and bone spread was symptomatic in 62.5% of the cases. Mean overall survival from primary diagnosis of EOC was 50.5 months (range: 2.5-142.5 months). Median overall survival after diagnosis of bone metastases was 7.2 months. When divided into two subsets depending on timepoint diagnosis of bone metastases, there was a significant difference in overall survival. The mean overall survival from primary diagnosis of EOC in the early-onset group (n = 8), defined as occurence of bone manifestation within 12 months, was 11.2 months. The mean overall survival in the late-onset group (n = 15) was 78.4 months (P = 0.000001).

Conclusions: The time interval from diagnosis to appearance of bone metastases is a prognostic factor in ovarian cancer. While early onset bone spread has a strong negative prognostic impact, late-onset bone diagnosis of bone metastases hardly influences the prognosis at all. This finding should be considered in the management of patients with bone metastases from ovarian cancer.

Keywords: bone metastases; ovarian cancer; prognostic factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Neoplasms / mortality
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Bone Neoplasms / therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / mortality
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / secondary*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult