Chemotherapy versus surgery for initial treatment in advanced ovarian epithelial cancer

J Morrison, A Swanton, S Collins, S Kehoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Epithelial ovarian cancer presents at an advanced stage in the majority of patients. These women require chemotherapy and surgery for optimal treatment. Conventional treatment is to perform surgery first and then give chemotherapy. However, it is important to determine whether there is any advantage to using chemotherapy prior to surgery.

OBJECTIVES: To assess whether there is an advantage to treating women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer with chemotherapy prior to debulking surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) compared with conventional treatment where chemotherapy follows maximal debulking surgery.

SEARCH STRATEGY: RCTs were identified by searching The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, Issue 3, 2006), MEDLINE (Silver Platter, from 1966 to 1st Sept 2006), EMBASE via Ovid (from 1980 to 1st Sept 2006), CANCERLIT (from 1966 to 1st Sept 2006), PDQ (search for open and closed trials) and MetaRegister (most current search Sept 2006).

SELECTION CRITERIA: Women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (Federation of International Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO) stage III-IV); randomized allocation to treatment groups which compared platinum-based chemotherapy before debulking surgery with platinum-based chemotherapy following debulking surgery.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data were extracted by three independent authors, and the quality of included trials was assessed by three independent authors.

MAIN RESULTS: One RCT was identified as meeting the inclusion criteria. This trial randomized 85 women and compared standard debulking surgery followed by eight cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy with pre-operative intra-arterial platinum-based chemotherapy and ovarian artery embolization followed by debulking surgery and seven cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy. There was no statistical difference in median overall survival (OS) between the two treatment groups. Three on-going RCTs were identified and their results are awaited.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: There is as yet no good evidence that neoadjuvant chemotherapy prior to debulking surgery for women with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer is superior to conventional debulking surgery and platinum-based chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)CD005343
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cystadenocarcinoma
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemotherapy versus surgery for initial treatment in advanced ovarian epithelial cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this