Dr. Cliby's team notes that while surgery is just one part of the treatment for advanced ovarian cancer, it is the one variable gynecologic oncologists treating this disease can most control. To improve the outcomes of this disease, they hope to see more research in resistance to chemotherapy, prevention of recurrent disease, and earlier detection.
This study's purpose was to estimate the effect of aggressive surgery on overall survival rates for ovarian cancer patients. The main outcome measures were residual disease after tumor reduction surgery, frequency of radical surgical procedures and five-year, disease-specific survival. Radical surgery procedures included diaphragmatic surgery, bowel resection, splenectomy or extensive abdominal peritoneal stripping or resection.
Because several other factors are part of the decision to perform surgery, especially more radical surgeries, Dr. Cliby's team also looked at risks related to age, preoperative medical condition and operative time. They found that residual disease and radical surgery were the only factors that consistently predicted survival.
The study cohort of 194 women was assembled from patients who underwent primary surgery for stage IIIC ovarian cancer at Mayo Clinic between 1994 and 1998.
Other Mayo researchers assisting in the study include: Giovanni Aletti, M.D.; Sean Dowdy, M.D.; Bobbie Gostout, M.D.; Monica Jones, M.D.; Robert Stanhope, M.D.; Timothy Wilson, M.D.; and Karl Podratz, M.D., Ph.D.