Skip to content

Ovarian Cancer Health Center

Font Size

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

The value of complete staging has not been demonstrated for early-stage cases, but the opposite ovary should be carefully evaluated for evidence of bilateral disease. Although the impact of surgical staging on therapeutic management is not defined, in a study, 7 of 27 patients with presumed localized disease were upstaged following complete surgical staging.[1] In two other studies, 16% and 18% of patients with presumed localized tumors of low malignant potential were upstaged as a result of a staging laparotomy.[2,3] In one of these studies, the yield for serous tumors was 30.8% compared with 0% for mucinous tumors.[4] In another study, patients with localized intraperitoneal disease and negative lymph nodes had a low incidence of recurrence (5%), whereas patients with localized intraperitoneal disease and positive lymph nodes had a statistically significantly higher incidence of recurrence (50%).[5]

In early-stage disease (stage I or II), no additional treatment is indicated for a completely resected tumor of low malignant potential.[6] When a patient wishes to retain childbearing potential, a unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is adequate therapy.[7,8] In the presence of bilateral ovarian cystic neoplasms, or a single ovary, a partial oophorectomy can be employed when fertility is desired by the patient.[9] Some physicians stress the importance of limiting ovarian cystectomy to stage IA patients in whom the margins of the cystectomy specimens are free of tumor.[4] In a large series, the relapse rate was higher with more conservative surgery (cystectomy > unilateral oophorectomy > TAH, BSO); differences, however, were not statistically significant, and survival was nearly 100% for all groups.[5,10] When childbearing is not a consideration, a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy is appropriate therapy. Once a woman has completed her family, most, but not all,[4] physicians favor removal of remaining ovarian tissue as it is at risk of recurrence of a borderline tumor, or even rarely, a carcinoma.[2,7]

Recommended Related to Ovarian Cancer

Patrick Dempsey: Cancer Caregiver

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 cancer. Her cancer, first caught in stage IV in 1996, returned in 1999, and Dempsey and his family were there to give her crucial...

Read the Patrick Dempsey: Cancer Caregiver article > >

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I borderline ovarian surface epithelial-stromal tumor and stage II borderline ovarian surface epithelial-stromal tumor. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Ovarian cancer illustration
    What are the symptoms?
    doctory with x-ray
    Get to know the Symptoms.
    cancer cell
    HPV is the top cause. Find out more.
    Lung cancer xray
    See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
    Integrative Medicine Cancer Quiz
    Lifestyle Tips for Depression Slideshow
    Screening Tests for Women
    Graphic of ovaries within reproductive system
    Ovarian Cancer Marker
    Pets Improve Your Health
    Vitamin D
    Healthy meal with salmon