Debulking Surgery and Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Are Associated With Decreased Morbidity in Women Receiving Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer

Robinson, William MD; Cantillo, Evelyn MD, MPH

International Journal of Gynecological Cancer:
doi: 10.1097/IGC.0000000000000009
Ovarian Cancer

Objective: The aims of this study were to compare the rate of completion of optimal debulking and/or 6 cycles of intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy in women with International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians stage III/IV ovarian cancer undergoing neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) versus primary surgery (PS) and to compare morbidity between these 2 groups.

Methods: Ninety-six subjects with stage III/IV ovarian cancer who underwent either NACT or PS were identified. Data comparisons include rate of optimal debulking and completion rate of 6 cycles of IP chemotherapy. Other data collected included surgical times, length of stay, intensive care unit admissions, blood transfusions, bowel resections, major complications, and dose reductions. SigmaStat version 2.0 was used for statistical analysis.

Results: Of the 96 subjects, 38 received NACT and 58 had PS. All 14 subjects with stage IV disease received NACT, and all experienced resolution of pleural effusion, based on computed tomographic imaging. Thirty-five (92%) of 38 NACT subjects versus 47 (81%) of 58 PS subjects were optimally debulked (P = 0.08). Thirty-six (95%) of 38 NACT subjects versus 37 (64%) of 58 PS subjects completed IP chemotherapy (P < 0.001). Length of stay was 3.26 (NACT) versus 5.08 (PS) days (P < 0.001). Intensive care unit admissions were 1 of 38 (NACT) versus 12 of 58 (PS) (P < 0.001). Bowel resections were done in 2 of 38 (NACT) versus 14 of 38 (PS) (P < 0.05). Duration of surgery was 96 minutes (NACT) versus 138 minutes (PS) (P < 0.001). A trend to fewer dose reductions occurred in NACT (1/38) versus PS (8/58) (P = 0.056).

Conclusions: The NACT subjects were more likely to complete IP chemotherapy and had decreased length of stay, intensive care unit admissions, bowel resections, and duration of surgery. Both optimal debulking and dose reductions were numerically but not statistically associated with NACT versus PS. This likely reflects a relatively high overall rate of optimal debulking and low rate of dose reductions in these subjects and would require a larger group to determine significance.

Author Information

Tulane Cancer Center, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to William Robinson, MD, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Ave, SL-11, New Orleans, LA 70112. E-mail:

Presented in abstract form at the Western Association of Gynecologic Oncologists Annual Meeting, June 2012, Huntington Beach, CA.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Received April 17, 2013

Accepted August 22, 2013

© 2014 by the International Gynecologic Cancer Society and the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology.