Ovarian cancer outcomes: Predictors of early death

Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Mar;140(3):474-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.12.021. Epub 2015 Dec 29.


Objective: To describe the outcomes and mortality in advanced ovarian cancer patients in a population-based cohort in the 90 days after diagnosis.

Methods: Using the linked Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare database, we identified a cohort of women with stage III/IV epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed between 1995 and 2007. A χ(2) test was used to assess demographic and clinical factors. Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess factors associated with variation in survival.

Results: Of the 9491 patients with stage III/IV ovarian cancer identified from the SEER/Medicare system, 4131 (43.6%) patients died in the first year after diagnosis. Of these, 2472 (26.0%) patients died in the first 90 days after diagnosis. Over the study period, the number of patients who died in the first 90 days after diagnosis slightly increased (p=0.053). Older age (>75 years of age), increased comorbidity, stage IV disease, lack of a visit with a gynecologic oncologist, and surgery were associated with an increase in 90-day mortality. Chemotherapy was associated with a reduction in 90-day mortality.

Conclusions: Approximately 25% of patients with advanced ovarian cancer in our study period died within 90 days of diagnosis, and more than 40% died within the first year of diagnosis. In addition, a substantial proportion of patients did not receive any treatment. Further research into the characteristics of these patients should be performed to elucidate clinical areas for intervention to either prevent these poor outcomes or allocate appropriate resources to patients with extremely poor prognoses.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Education; Ovarian cancer; Resource allocation; Surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Mortality, Premature
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / mortality*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology