Role of primary surgery in advanced ovarian cancer
1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Klinikstrasse 32, D 35385 Giessen, Germany
2 Institute of Pathology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Langhansstrasse 10, D 35385 Giessen, Germany
World Journal of Surgical Oncology 2004, 2:32 doi:10.1186/1477-7819-2-32Published: 2 October 2004
Major issues in surgery for advanced ovarian cancer remain unresolved. Existing treatment guidelines are supported by a few published reports and fewer prospective randomized clinical trials.
We reviewed published reports on primary surgical treatment, surgical expertise, inadequate primary surgery/quality assurance, neoadjuvant chemotherapy, interval debulking, and surgical prognostic factors in advanced ovarian cancer to help resolve outstanding issues.
The aim of primary surgery is a well-planned and complete intervention with optimal staging and surgery. Surgical debulking is worthwhile as there are further effective treatments available to control unresectable residual disease. Patients of gynecologic oncology specialist surgeons have better survival rates. This may reflect a working 'culture' rather than better technical skills. One major problem though, is that despite pleas to restrict surgery to experienced surgeons, specialist centers are often left to cope with the results of inadequate primary surgical resections. Patients with primary chemotherapy or those who have had suboptimal debulking may benefit from interval debulking. A proposal for a better classification of residual tumor is given.
Optimal surgical interventions have definite role to play in advanced ovarian cancers. Improvements in surgical treatment in the general population will probably improve patients' survival when coupled with improvements in current chemotherapeutic approaches.