Optimizing the treatment of ovarian cancer: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and interval debulking versus primary debulking surgery for epithelial ovarian cancers likely to have suboptimal resection

Sarah E. Gill, Michaela E. McGree, Amy L. Weaver, William Arthur Cliby, Carrie L. Langstraat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Objective To: a) identify prognostic factors in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) and interval debulking surgery (IDS), and b) compare post-surgical survival between patients treated with NACT/IDS for presumed unresectable disease and stage IIIC/IV patients who underwent suboptimal primary debulking surgery (PDS). Methods This was a retrospective study of consecutive stage IIIC or IV patients undergoing IDS after NACT at Mayo Clinic from January 2007 to December 2013. A subset of patients receiving NACT/IDS for the indication of unresectable disease were matched 1:1 on age and stage to a cohort of patients who underwent suboptimal PDS between 2003 and 2011. Hazard ratios and corresponding 95% confidence intervals were estimated from Cox proportional hazards models. Results We identified 87 patients treated with NACT/IDS: the median OS and PFS following surgery was 2.4 and 1.0 years, respectively. Factors associated with significantly worse OS were older age (adjusted HR 1.60 per 10-year increase in age, 95% CI 1.18, 2.16) and elevated CA-125 before IDS (adjusted HR 2.30 for CA-125 > 35 U/mL, 95% CI 1.25, 4.23). Number of adjuvant chemotherapy cycles administered did not have a significant effect on survival. In the matched cohort analysis of presumed unresectable cases undergoing NACT/IDS vs suboptimal PDS cases (n = 45 each), the NACT/IDS group had a significant OS advantage (HR 0.53; 95% CI 0.32, 0.88), and fewer patients experienced a 30-day postoperative Accordion grade 3/4 complication (11% vs 36%,  P = 0.01). Conclusions Younger age and normalization of CA-125 prior to IDS are associated with improved survival with NACT/IDS. For primary EOC where resection to residual disease of 1 cm or less is unlikely, NACT/IDS is associated with improved survival and reduced perioperative morbidity compared to PDS. As these patients are likely best served by NACT/IDS, more reliable predictors of resectability would be valuable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-273
Number of pages8
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017



  • Interval debulking surgery
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Unresectable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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