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Ovarian Cancer Health Center

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Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Advanced-Stage Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors

Patients with advanced disease should undergo a total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, omentectomy, node sampling, and aggressive cytoreductive surgery. Patients with stage III or IV disease with no gross residual tumor have had a 100% survival rate in some series regardless of the follow-up duration.[1,2] The 7-year survival rate of patients with gross residual disease was only 69% in a large series [3] and appears to be inversely proportional to the length of follow-up.[3]

For patients with more advanced-stage disease and microscopic or gross residual disease, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy are not indicated. Scant evidence exists that postoperative chemotherapy or radiation therapy alters the course of this disease in any beneficial way.[1,3,4,5,6] In a study of 364 patients without residual tumor, adjuvant therapy had no effect on disease-free or corrected survival when stratified for disease stage.[7] Patients without residual tumor who received no adjuvant treatment had a survival rate equal to or greater than the treated groups. Currently, no controlled studies have compared postoperative treatment with no treatment.

Recommended Related to Ovarian Cancer

Understanding Ovarian Cancer -- Diagnosis & Treatment

If an ovarian growth is suspected, an ultrasound of the ovaries is done. If any abnormality is detected, further testing will be done. Tests include blood studies, CT scans, barium enema X-rays, colonoscopy, MRI, and chest X-rays to help evaluate the extent of the cancer. Ultimately, the surgical opening of the abdomen (exploratory laparotomy) is necessary to confirm or rule out an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Genetic testing may be useful for women who have a family history of ovarian, uterine (endometrial),...

Read the Understanding Ovarian Cancer -- Diagnosis & Treatment article > >

In a review of 150 patients with borderline ovarian tumors, the survival of patients with a residual tumor of less than 2 cm was significantly better than survival for those with a residual tumor from 2 to 5 cm and more than 5 cm.[8] Whether invasive implants imply a worse prognosis remains an unsettled question. Some investigators have correlated invasive implants with poor prognosis, [9] while others have not.[2,10] Some studies have suggested that it may be possible to use DNA ploidy of the tumors to identify those patients who will develop aggressive disease.[11,12] A study could not correlate DNA ploidy of the primary serous tumor with survival but found that aneuploid invasive implants were associated with a poor prognosis.[13] Currently, no evidence indicates that treatment of patients with aneuploid tumors would have an impact on survival. No significant association was found between p53 and HER-2/neu overexpression and tumor recurrence or survival.[14]

In the face of clinical progression, further tumor reductive surgery followed by chemotherapy is certainly indicated. If the symptom-free interval is long, using chemotherapy after a secondary cytoreductive procedure is not advisable. If, on the other hand, the disease symptomatically recurs rapidly, chemotherapy may be beneficial. Reports have surgically documented the efficacy of chemotherapy on some patients with microscopic or gross residual disease.[15,16] A Gynecologic Oncology Group study used melphalan chemotherapy for patients with progressive disease and used cisplatin for melphalan failures.[17]

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