Comparing Laparotomy with Robot-assisted Interval Debulking Surgery for Patients with Advanced Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2021 Jun;28(6):1237-1243. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2020.11.015. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Study objective: Compare survival of patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) undergoing interval debulking surgery (IDS) with either robot-assisted (R-IDS) or open (O-IDS) approach. Second, we assessed the impact of adjuvant and neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) cycles as independent variables associated with survival in this patient population.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Single tertiary care center.

Patients: Total of 93 patients diagnosed with advanced EOC who underwent NACT before primary debulking surgery after consultation with a gynecologic oncologist.

Interventions: All patients underwent IDS after completion of NACT with either R-IDS or O-IDS between 2011 and 2018 at a single tertiary care center. Exclusion criteria included receiving fewer than 3 or more than 6 cycles of NACT or having concurrent diagnoses of other malignancies during the treatment period.

Measurements and main results: A total of 93 patients were identified (n = 43 R-IDS; n = 50 O-IDS). Median age (63.0 vs 66.2 years) did not differ between the 2 groups (p = .1). Of the total patients, 91% were optimally cytoreduced (57% R0 and 34% R1), and R0 rate was not influenced by surgical modality (52% O-IDS vs 63% R-IDS, p = .4). Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) did not differ between patients undergoing O-IDS and those undergoing R-IDS (PFS 15.4 vs 16.7 months, p = .7; OS 38.2 vs 35.6 months, p = .7). Cytoreduction to R0 improved both PFS and OS independent of surgical approach. Subgroup analysis showed that, specifically in patients undergoing R-IDS, receiving >6 total cycles of chemotherapy was independently associated with both decreased PFS (hazard ratio 3.85; 95% confidence interval, 1.52-9.73) and OS (hazard ratio 3.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-14.59). When analyzed separately, neither NACT nor adjuvant cycle numbers had any effect on survival.

Conclusion: In this retrospective study of patients with advanced EOC undergoing IDS after NACT, the use of robot-assisted surgery did not affect debulking success or oncologic survival indices. Receiving >6 total cycles of chemotherapy before IDS was associated with a decrease in both PFS and OS in patients undergoing R-IDS in this cohort and warrants further investigation.

Keywords: Cycles; Minimally invasive; Multivariate; NACT; Retrospective.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Ovarian Epithelial / surgery
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparotomy
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*
  • Robotics*