Surgical management of recurrent ovarian cancer

Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Aug;142(2):357-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.04.537. Epub 2016 May 10.


Most patients with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer will experience a relapse of disease despite a complete response after surgical cytoreduction and platinum-based chemotherapy. Treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer mainly comprises various combinations of systemic chemotherapy with or without targeted agents. The role of cytoreductive surgery for recurrent ovarian cancer is not well established. Although the literature on survival benefit of cytoreductive surgery for recurrent disease has expanded steadily over the past decade, most studies were retrospective, single-institution series with small numbers of patients. Given the balance between survival benefit and surgery-related morbidity during maximum cytoreductive surgical effort, it is essential to establish the optimal selection criteria for identifying appropriate candidates who will benefit from surgery without worsening quality of life. Three phase III randomized trials for this issue are currently underway. Herein, we present contemporary evidence supporting the positive role of cytoreductive surgery and offer selection criteria for optimal candidates for surgery in the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer.

Keywords: Cytoreductive surgery; Recurrent ovarian cancer; Selection criteria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic