Introduction: Chemotherapy is the standard treatment of recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), but its use in nodal relapses is still debated. On the other hand, the role of secondary cytoreductive surgery (SCS) remains controversial. Aim of this study is to evaluate feasibility and outcomes of SCS for the specific setting of recurrent ovarian cancer, exclusively relapsing in lymph nodes.
Patients and methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis in five Italian Institutions (University of Torino, INT of Milano, CRO of Aviano, University of Pisa and INT of Napoli) from 2000 to 2012. Patients with EOC who underwent secondary surgery for isolated lymph node recurrence (ILNR) were selected.
Results: Seventy-three patients were identified. At first diagnosis, patients received debulking surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy. The median disease free interval from completion of primary chemotherapy to nodal recurrence was 18 months. Nodal recurrence was para-aortic in 37 patients (50.7%), pelvic in 21 (28.8%), pelvic and para-aortic in 9 (12.3%), pelvic and inguinal in 3 (4.1%) and inguinal in 3 (4.1%). During SCS, in 1 patients nephrectomy was necessary for renal vein injury. No significant postoperative morbidity occurred. Median follow-up is 50 months. After secondary surgery, 32 (43.8%) are alive without disease, 18 (24.6%) are alive with disease and 23 patients (31.5%) are dead of disease. Five-year overall survival from the time of treatment of recurrent disease is 64%.
Conclusions: Secondary surgery for ILNR of ovarian cancer is feasible, safe, with low morbidity and it is associated with a favorable outcome.
Keywords: Epithelial ovarian cancer; Isolated lymph node recurrence; Secondary cytoreductive surgery.
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