Borderline tumours make up about 15% of all epithelial ovarian tumours. They are also called tumours of low malignant potential because they are less likely to spread. "Little was known regarding fertility determinants after conservative treatment for BOT", said Dr. Poncelet, "and we thought it was important both for our practice and for patients' outcomes to identify specific parameters influencing subsequent fertility. We also wanted to see how surgical management of these tumours would influence recurrence."
The scientists looked at data on 360 women with BOT, of whom 162 underwent conservative surgery, and compared those who conceived and those who tried but failed. 30 pregnancies occurred in 21 of the 65 women who wished to conceive after conservative treatment 27 spontaneous pregnancies, 3 after ovarian stimulation, 1 after intrauterine insemination and 2 after IVF. The women who conceived tended to be younger than those who did not, and they were also more likely not to have conceived before.
However, the recurrence rate with conservative surgery was quite high at 16.6% over an average 70-month period. "But we would recommend conservative surgery for younger women with unilateral BOT", said Dr. Poncelet. "Our data underlines the fact that it is an adequate option for these women, particularly if they wish to become pregnant. There was no difference in the recurrence rate between those who conceived and those did not, nor in time to recurrence."
Contact: Mary Rice
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology