Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Treatment - Stage I and Stage II Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Treatment
Note: Some citations in the text of this section are followed by a level of evidence. The PDQ editorial boards use a formal ranking system to help the reader judge the strength of evidence linked to the reported results of a therapeutic strategy. (Refer to the PDQ summary on Levels of Evidence for more information.)
A decade before Grey’s Anatomy was even imagined, Patrick Dempsey --
the actor who catapulted to fame as “Dr. McDreamy” in the hit medical drama --
was already working on his bedside manner. No, he wasn’t preparing for a part.
He had traveled back to rural Maine, where he’d been raised, to help his
mother, Amanda, take on the fight of her life: a second bout with ovarian
Her cancer, first caught in stage IV in 1996, returned in 1999, and Dempsey
and his family were there to give her...
If the tumor is well differentiated or moderately well differentiated, total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with omentectomy is adequate for patients with stage IA and stage IB disease. The undersurface of the diaphragm should be visualized and biopsied; pelvic and abdominal peritoneal biopsies and pelvic and para-aortic lymph node biopsies are required and peritoneal washings should be obtained routinely. In selected patients who desire childbearing and have grade I tumors, unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy may be associated with a low risk of recurrence.
If the tumor is grade III, densely adherent, or stage IC, the chance of relapse and death from ovarian cancer is as much as 30%.[3,4,5,6] Clinical trials evaluating the following treatment approaches have been performed:
Systemic chemotherapy based on platinums alone or in combination with alkylating agents.[1,7,9,10,11]
Systemic chemotherapy based on platinums with paclitaxel.
In two large European trials, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Adjuvant ChemoTherapy in Ovarian Neoplasm (EORTC-ACTION) and International Collaborative Ovarian Neoplasm (MRC-ICON1), patients with stage IA and stage IB (grades II and III), all stage IC and stage II, and all stage I and stage IIA clear cell carcinoma were randomly assigned to adjuvant chemotherapy or observation. Data were reported individually and in pooled form.[12,13,14]
The EORTC-ACTION trial required at least four cycles of carboplatin or cisplatin-based chemotherapy as treatment. Although surgical staging criteria were monitored, inadequate staging was not an exclusion criterion. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) was improved in the adjuvant chemotherapy arm (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.63; P = .02), but overall survival (OS) was not affected (HR = 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.44-1.08; P = .10). OS was improved by chemotherapy in the subset of patients with inadequate surgical staging.
The MRC-ICON1 trial randomly assigned patients to six cycles of single-agent carboplatin or cisplatin or platinum-based chemotherapy (usually cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and cisplatin) versus observation and had similar entry criteria to the EORTC-ACTION trial, however, the MRC-ICON1 trial did not monitor whether adequate surgical staging was performed. Both RFS and OS were significantly improved; 5-year survival figures were 79% with adjuvant chemotherapy versus 70% without adjuvant chemotherapy.
The pooled data from both studies indicate significant improvement in RFS (HR = 0.64; 95% CI, 0.50-0.82; P = .001) and OS (HR = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.50-0.90; P = .008). These pooled data provide for an OS at 5 years of 82% with chemotherapy and 74% with observation, with a 95% CI in the difference of 2% to 12%. An accompanying editorial emphasizes that the focus of subsequent trials must be to identify patients who do not require additional therapy among the early ovarian cancer subset.[Level of evidence: 1iA] Optimal staging is one way to better identify these patients. Except for the most favorable subset (patients with stage IA well-differentiated disease), Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) trials, and the evidence above, which is based on double-blinded, randomized controlled trials with total mortality endpoints, support treatment with cisplatin, carboplatin, and paclitaxel (in the United States).