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Mayo Clinic finds aggressive surgery best option for advanced-stage ovarian cancer patients

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers report aggressive surgical removal of as much cancer as possible throughout the abdomen in ovarian cancer patients is the best option for most women. Results of the study are published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

"This study provides further evidence that surgery to remove as much tumor as possible at the initial operation is the best option for most patients," says William Cliby, M.D., Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncologist and lead investigator of the study. "It helps to define a topic that is often debated within our specialty -- the benefit of radical surgery for advanced ovarian cancer patients." Dr. Cliby says that data demonstrate many surgeons choose the more cautious route of less surgical intervention, and this results in shorter overall survival.

Dr. Cliby and his team of researchers found that aggressive surgery greatly improves survival rates for patients with the most severe disease spread. They also found similar five-year survival rates in most cases for patients undergoing radical and non-radical surgery, indicating to the researchers that aggressive surgery is not a significant risk factor, but instead aids in survival. In those patients with the highest volume of disease (carcinomatosis), the researchers found that radical surgery greatly improved the five-year survival rates (44 percent versus 17 percent).

Having a general preference towards maximum surgical intervention, Dr. Cliby and his fellow Mayo Clinic surgeons see the results of a survey conducted by the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists in 2001 as troubling, with 45.5 percent of respondents citing lack of evidence for improved survival as a primary rationale against performing aggressive surgical resection in specific cases of advanced ovarian cancer. The American Cancer Society predicts over 16,000 women in the United States will die from ovarian cancer this year, and Dr. Cliby's team hope their study
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9-Jan-2006


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