Maximal-Effort Cytoreductive Surgery for Ovarian Cancer Patients with a High Tumor Burden: Variations in Practice and Impact on Outcome

Ann Surg Oncol. 2019 Sep;26(9):2943-2951. doi: 10.1245/s10434-019-07516-3. Epub 2019 Jun 26.


Background: This study aimed to compare the outcomes of two distinct patient populations treated within two neighboring UK cancer centers (A and B) for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

Methods: A retrospective analysis of all new stages 3 and 4 EOC patients treated between January 2013 and December 2014 was performed. The Mayo Clinic surgical complexity score (SCS) was applied. Cox regression analysis identified the impact of treatment methods on survival.

Results: The study identified 249 patients (127 at center A and 122 in centre B) without significant differences in International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage (FIGO 4, 29.7% at centers A and B), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (ECOG < 2, 89.9% at centers A and B), or histology (serous type in 84.1% at centers A and B). The patients at center A were more likely to undergo surgery (87% vs 59.8%; p < 0.001). The types of chemotherapy and the patients receiving palliative treatment alone were equivalent between the two centers (3.6%). The median SCS was significantly higher at center A (9 vs 2; p < 0.001) with greater tumor burden (9 vs 6 abdominal fields involved; p < 0.001), longer median operation times (285 vs 155 min; p < 0.001), and longer hospital stays (9 vs 6 days; p < 0.001), but surgical morbidity and mortality were equivalent. The independent predictors of reduced overall survival (OS) were non-serous histology (hazard ratio [HR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-2.61), ECOG higher than 2 (HR, 1.9; 95% CI 1.15-3.13), and palliation alone (HR, 3.43; 95% CI 1.51-7.81). Cytoreduction, of any timing, had an independent protective impact on OS compared with chemotherapy alone (HR, 0.31 for interval surgery and 0.39 for primary surgery), even after adjustment for other prognostic factors.

Conclusions: Incorporating surgery into the initial EOC management, even for those patients with a greater tumor burden and more disseminated disease, may require more complex procedures and more resources in terms of theater time and hospital stay, but seems to be associated with a significant prolongation of the patients overall survival compared with chemotherapy alone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / mortality*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / surgery
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / mortality*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / mortality*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / surgery
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / mortality*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / standards*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Tumor Burden
  • Young Adult