Minimally invasive interval cytoreductive surgery in ovarian cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis

J Robot Surg. 2019 Feb;13(1):23-33. doi: 10.1007/s11701-018-0838-x. Epub 2018 Jul 10.


The introduction of minimally invasive surgery in other gynecologic cancers has shown benefits with similar oncologic outcomes. However, the biology and complexity of surgery for ovarian cancer may preclude this approach for ovarian cancer patients. Our objective is to assess feasibility to achieve complete cytoreductive surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy for stage IIIC-IV ovarian cancer patients via minimally invasive surgery. Our data sources include PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Biosis,, and the Cochrane Library. Meta-analysis was performed using the random-effects model with DerSimonian and Laird estimator for the amount of heterogeneity to estimate the pooled outcomes. A funnel plot and Egger's regression test were used to test publication bias. The Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale was used to assess the quality of the studies. There were 6 studies (3 prospective, 3 retrospective) that met the criteria for meta-analysis with a total of 3231 patients, 567 were in the minimally invasive group and 2664 in the laparotomy group. Both groups were similar in stage and serous histology. Complete cytoreductive surgery was achieved in 74.50% (95% CI 40.41-97.65%) and 53.10% (95% CI 4.88-97.75%) of patients in the minimally invasive and laparotomy groups, respectively. There was no statistical significant difference between these 2 pooled proportions (p = 0.52). Three studies compared minimally invasive surgery vs laparotomy. No significant difference was observed between the 2 groups in obtaining complete cytoreductive surgery [OR = 0.90 (95% CI 0.70-1.16; p = 0.43)]. A symmetrical funnel plot indicated no publication bias. The pooled proportion for grade > 2 postoperative complications was not significant among the laparoscopy group [3.11% (95% CI 0.00-10.24%; p = 0.15)]. Complete cytoreductive surgery appears feasible and safe with minimally invasive surgery in selected advanced ovarian cancer patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Keywords: Cytoreductive surgery; Laparoscopy; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Ovarian cancer; Robotic surgery.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome