Role of optimal cytoreduction in patients with dysgerminoma

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2019 Nov;29(9):1405-1410. doi: 10.1136/ijgc-2019-000632. Epub 2019 Oct 7.


Background: Dysgerminomas are malignant ovarian germ-cell tumors that typically affect young women. Although these tumors have an excellent response to chemotherapy, surgery is an integral part of primary treatment.

Objective: To evaluate outcomes of initial cytoreduction in patients diagnosed with dysgerminomas.

Methods: Patients who underwent primary cytoreductive surgery for ovarian dysgerminoma between January 1985 and December 2013 were identified and included in the study. A comparison was made between patients who underwent optimal versus sub-optimal cytoreduction. Descriptive, comparative statistics and odds ratios were used to establish an association. Survival curves were performed with the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using a log-rank test. A value of p<0.05 was used to establish a statistical difference.

Results: A total of 180 patients with a histologically confirmed dysgerminoma were included in the analysis. A subsection of 37 patients in stages III/IV were analyzed. The median age at diagnosis was 21 years (IQR 18-26). Histologically, 166 (92.2%) patients had pure dysgerminomas, whereas the rest had mixed histologies. The median tumor size was 18 (IQR 12-22) cm. In all stages, factors associated with optimal cytoreduction, were higher lactate dehydrogenase levels (OR=1.01; p=0.03), higher CA125 levels (OR=1.01; p=0.04), receiving adjuvant chemotherapy (OR=0.22; p<0.01), or undergoing treatment in a specialized institution (OR=12.68; p<0.01). Patients in stages III/IV, initially managed outside our institution were less likely to be taken for cytoreduction (OR=16.88; p=0.013). Other factors, including age (OR=1.02; p=0.39), pelvic lymph-node positivity (OR=2.24; p=0.36), pregnancy during follow-up (OR=0.91: p=0.80), or recurrence of disease (OR=1.93; p=0.23) were found to be similar in both groups. Overall survival was higher in optimally cytoreducted patients (100% vs 95.7%; p=0.032) including all stages, but not if considering only stages III/IV (100% vs 90%, p=0.186); disease-free survival was the same for both groups regardless of stage (94.3% vs 91.1%; p=0.36).

Conclusion: Patients with optimal surgeries were most likely to be treated in referral centers. Initial residual disease did not significantly alter recurrence, progression, disease-free survival, or overall survival.

Keywords: ovarian neoplasms; surgical oncology.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dysgerminoma / pathology
  • Dysgerminoma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Young Adult