Ovarian cancer in pregnancy

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2017 May;41:108-117. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2016.09.013. Epub 2016 Oct 1.


Although the occurrence of ovarian masses in pregnancy is relatively common, the majority of them is functional and resolve spontaneously; nevertheless, ovarian cancer is the fifth most common malignancy diagnosed in pregnancy. If malignancy is suspected, treatment should be decided on the basis of gestational age, stage of the disease and patient preferences. In early stage, ovarian cancer surgery may be planned preferably after 16 weeks of pregnancy, and chemotherapy can be administered from the second trimester if indicated as in non-pregnant patients. In advanced-stage disease, when complete cytoreduction is not achievable, neoadjuvant chemotherapy could be administered even in pregnancy. Chemotherapy should be a combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel in epithelial ovarian cancer patients and a combination of cisplatin, vinblastin and bleomycin in non-epithelial ovarian cancer. The outcome of patients with ovarian cancer diagnosed in pregnancy is similar to non-pregnant patients, and stage of the disease is the most important prognostic factor.

Keywords: chemotherapy in pregnancy; ovarian cancer; pregnancy; surgery in pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / surgery*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Paclitaxel / administration & dosage
  • Patient Preference*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / drug therapy*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / surgery*


  • Carboplatin
  • Paclitaxel