Ovarian papillary serous tumors of low malignant potential (serous borderline tumors). A long-term follow-up study, including patients with microinvasion, lymph node metastasis, and transformation to invasive serous carcinoma

Cancer. 1996 Jul 15;78(2):278-86. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0142(19960715)78:2<278::AID-CNCR14>3.0.CO;2-T.


Background: The clinical outcome of patients with ovarian serous tumors of low malignant potential (LMP) remains controversial, especially for those with extraovarian disease. We retrospectively reviewed our experience to study this question further, to assess the safety of conservative management of patients with limited disease, and to determine whether exophytic ovarian surface tumor was predictive of tumor recurrence.

Methods: The clinical and pathologic records of 76 patients with ovarian serous LMP tumors accessioned at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1979 to 1990 were reviewed. International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging was retrospectively assigned, follow-up information obtained, and clinicopathologic correlations made.

Results: An exophytic ovarian surface component was present in 39 of 76 patients (51%). Stage II or III disease was present in 28 of 74 staged patients (38%). Follow-up information was available on 66 patients, ranging from 8 to 264 months (mean, 99 months). Twenty-five patients of 66 patients with follow-up information (38%) received adjuvant therapy. Only 1 patient (1.5%) developed progressive disease; she died of widespread invasive serous carcinoma. Two of 18 conservatively managed patients (11%) developed "recurrent" disease, including 1 patient with a second primary serous LMP tumor of the preserved ovary and 1 patient with an incidentally discovered microscopic serosal implant. There were no other recurrences in the study group, which included four patients with stromal microinvasion and one with lymph node involvement.

Conclusions: The long term outcome of serous LMP tumors is extremely favorable. Exophytic ovarian surface tumor did not serve as a predictor for subsequent peritoneal implants. Conservative surgical management in young patients with localized disease is supported and the use of adjuvant therapy in the initial management of patients with advanced tumors is further questioned.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Papillary / pathology*
  • Cystadenoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Cystadenoma, Papillary / surgery*
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peritoneal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stromal Cells / pathology
  • Treatment Outcome