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Improved progression-free and overall survival in advanced ovarian cancer as a result of a change in surgical paradigm.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) of a programmatic change in surgical approach to advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.

METHODS: Two groups of patients with stage IIIC and IV ovarian, tubal, and peritoneal carcinoma were compared. Group 1, the control group, consisted of all 168 patients who underwent primary cytoreduction from 1/96 to 12/99. Group 2, the study group, consisted of all 210 patients who underwent primary surgery from 1/01 to 12/04, during which time a more comprehensive debulking of upper abdominal disease was utilized.

RESULTS: There were no differences between the groups in age, primary site of disease, surgical stage, tumor grade, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, preoperative serum CA-125 and platelet levels, percentage with or amount of ascites, size or location of largest tumor mass, or type of postoperative chemotherapy. Patients in Group 2 vs Group 1 more frequently had extensive upper abdominal procedure(s) (38% vs 0%, respectively; P<0.001) and cytoreduction to residual disease <1 cm (80% vs 46%, respectively; P<0.01). Five-year PFS and OS rates were significantly improved in Group 2. For Group 2 vs Group 1 patients, 5-year PFS rates were 31% vs 14%, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.757; 95% CI, 0.601-0.953; P=0.01]; and 5-year OS rates were 47% vs 35%, respectively (HR, 0.764; 95% CI, 0.592-0.987; P=0.03].

CONCLUSION: The incorporation of extensive upper abdominal procedures resulted in increased optimal cytoreduction rates and significantly improved PFS and OS. A paradigm shift toward more complete primary cytoreduction can improve survival for patients with advanced ovarian, tubal, and peritoneal carcinomas.

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