Role of Video-Assisted Thoracoscopy in Advanced Ovarian Cancer: A Literature Review

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2016 May;26(4):801-6. doi: 10.1097/IGC.0000000000000680.


Tools that accurately predict the presence of metastatic ovarian cancer in the pleura are limited. Thus, we sought to summarize the current literature on video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and its applicability in patients with advanced ovarian cancer. A total of 187 patients with suspected ovarian cancer who underwent the VATS procedure were identified for this analysis. The median patient age was 59.4 years (range, 20.3-83 years). The median operative time for VATS was 32 minutes (range, 5-65 minutes). In 89 patients (48%), VATS revealed macroscopic disease in the pleural cavity. After VATS, 44 patients underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and the remaining 143 patients underwent primary cytoreductive surgery. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery led to a change in disease stage or management in 76 patients (41%). Among patients with pleural effusions, VATS revealed pleural disease in 57% of patients, and 73% of patients with positive pleural cytology had evidence of pleural disease at the time of VATS. In addition, 23.5% of patients with negative pleural cytology had evidence of pleural disease at the time of VATS. Prospective trials are needed to accurately evaluate the impact of VATS on disease-free and overall survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer. Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery can help determine which patients are ideal candidates for surgical cytoreduction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Thoracic Surgery, Video-Assisted / methods*