A randomized trial recently showed that patients with an ovarian cancer recurrence who undergo cytoreductive surgery along with chemotherapy show better survival rates than those who only receive chemotherapy.
More than 400 patients were randomized into two groups: 206 were assigned to cytoreductive debulking surgery and chemotherapy, and 201 only had chemotherapy. The median survival rate in the group who had surgery was 53.7 months, while the group with chemo alone showed a median survival rate of 46 months. Furthermore, patients with a complete resection (when all tumor cells are removed) had a median survival rate of 61.9 months.
Not only was a benefit from surgery seen in all analyses in subgroups, but quality-of-life measures through the first year post-surgery did not differ between the two groups (those who underwent surgery, and those who did not.)
While surgery is integral to disease management when ovarian cancer is first diagnosed, its role in managing recurrence has been debated. Retrospective studies, and this one, are shining new light on how to best treat recurrence.
Are you or a loved one dealing with an ovarian cancer recurrence? Find answers to frequently-asked questions, and connect with others who can relate through our Staying Connected: Living Well online support group, which meets weekly.