30 Years of Experience in the Management of Stage III and IV Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: Impact of Surgical Strategies on Survival

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Mar 24;12(3):768. doi: 10.3390/cancers12030768.


Objective: to analyze the evolution of surgical techniques and strategies, and to determine their influence on the survival of patients with stage III or IV epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Methods: a retrospective data analysis was performed in two French tertiary cancer institutes. The analysis included clinical information, cytoreductive outcome (complete, optimal and suboptimal), definitive pathology, Overall Survival (OS), and Progression-Free Survival (PFS). Three surgical strategies were compared: Primary Cytoreductive Surgery (PCS), Interval Cytoreductive Surgery (ICS) after three cycles of Neo-Adjuvant Chemotherapy (NAC), and Final Cytoreductive Surgery (FCS) after at least six cycles of NAC. We analyzed four distinct time intervals: prior to 2000, between 2000 and 2004, between 2005 and 2009, and after 2009. Results: data from 1474 patients managed for International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stages III (80%) or IV (20%) EOC were analyzed. Throughout the four time intervals, the rate of patients who were treated only medically increased significantly (10.1% vs. 22.6% p < 0.001). NAC treatment increased from 20.1% to 52.2% (p < 0.001). Complete resection rate increased from 37% to 66.2% (p < 0.001). Of our study population, 1260 patients (85.5%) underwent surgery. OS was longer in cases of complete cytoreduction (Hazard Ratio (HR) = 2.123 CI 95% [1.816-2.481] p < 0.001) but the surgical strategy itself did not affect median OS. OS was 44.9 months, 50.3 months, and 42 months for PCS, ICS, and FCS, respectively (p = 0.410). After adjusting for surgical strategies (PCS, ICS, and FCS), all patients with complete cytoreduction presented similar OS with no significant difference. However, PFS was three months shorter when FCS was compared to PCS (p < 0.001). Conclusion: In our 30 years' experience of EOC management, complete resection rate was the only independent factor that significantly improved OS and PFS, regardless of the surgical strategy.

Keywords: ovarian cancer; prognosis; surgery; survival.