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Ovarian Metastases in Colorectal Cancer

Omranipour, Ramesh; Abasahl, Abolghasem

International Journal of Gynecological Cancer: December 2009 - Volume 19 - Issue 9 - pp 1524-1528
doi: 10.1111/IGC.0b013e3181a84011
Ovarian Cancer

Purpose: The aims of this study were to determine the incidence, clinicopathologic features, and prognostic factors of ovarian involvement in primary colorectal cancer (CRC) and also to clear the role of prophylactic oophorectomy.

Methods: Data from women with primary CRC treated between 1990 and 2004 were retrieved, and clinical and pathologic features of those who had undergone oophorectomy during CRC surgery were reviewed.

Results: One hundred eighty cases (mean age, 48 years) were included. In 120 cases, ovaries were preserved, and 60 cases underwent bilateral oophorectomy in addition to primary CRC resection. Reasons for oophorectomy were prophylactic in 22 (36.6%), abnormal morphology in 35 (58.3%), and undetermined in 3 cases (5%). There were 5 metastatic carcinomas, 8 primary ovarian tumors, and 47 normal ovaries in the pathologic evaluation. No complication directly related to oophorectomy was noted. Patients with ovarian metastases had higher stages of tumor. Ovarian metastases were not related to menstrual status, CRC location, size, differentiation, and mucin production, as well as abnormal morphology of the ovary. The global prevalence of ovarian metastases in CRCs was 2.7%, and isolated ovarian metastases occurred in fewer than half of them. Of 120 women who underwent colectomy alone, 8 (6.6%) developed ovarian metastasis during 2 years of follow-up. Only 3 cases had isolated ovarian metastases. No patient with synchronous or metachronous ovarian metastases from CRC survived 5 years.

Conclusions: Isolated ovarian metastases from primary CRC occur with a low frequency, and this may partially explain the debate regarding prophylactic oophorectomy at the time of curative resection for primary CRC.

Department of Surgical Oncology, Cancer Institute, Emam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ramesh Omranipour, Cancer Research Center of the Cancer Institute of Iran, Emam Khomeini Hospital, Keshavarz Blvd, Tehran, Iran. E-mail:

Copyright © 2009 by IGCS and ESGO