Tailored Surgical Approach Leads to Better Outcomes in Ovarian Cancer

(March 10, 2015) An algorithm developed at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston has dramatically increased complete resection rates in advanced ovarian cancer, giving patients the best possible chance of survival. The work was funded in part by an OCRF research grant to Anil Sood, MD. The results are summarized in an article in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology.

It is known that ovarian cancer patients who benefit the most from upfront surgery are those who are able to have their cancer completely removed. To help improve the proportion of patients with advanced-stage ovarian cancer whose cancer is completed removed, researchers implemented a much more personalized approach. Patients with suspected advanced ovarian cancer undergo a laparoscopic assessment using a validated scoring system (based on the pattern and extent of disease noted during laparoscopic assessment); patients with a score <8 have upfront debulking surgery, and those with a score ≥8 received neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by surgery after 3-4 cycles.

Since introducing the “Anderson Algorithm,” in mid-2013, complete resection rates have climbed to 84% from 20% pre-inception for patients who are eligible for surgery first.  In addition, there was a trend towards increased complete resection in patients who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Half of all patients are now offered neoadjuvant chemotherapy rather than primary cytoreductive surgery following implementation of the surgical algorithm.

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