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Role of conservative surgery in ovarian cancer: the European experience
  1. N. COLOMBO*,
  2. G. PARMA*,
  3. M. T. LAPRESA*,
  4. F. MAGGI*,
  5. P. PIANTANIDA and
  1. *European Institute of Oncology, University of Milan-Bicocca, Milan, Italy
  2. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Novara, Novara, Italy
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Prof. Nicoletta Colombo, Gynecologic Oncology Unit, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti 435, 20141 Milan, Italy. Email: nicoletta.colombo{at}


Although less frequently than in older women, about 15% of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer may occur in young women, for whom preservation of fertility potential is an important clinical goal. We reviewed the published evidences from the European literature on the role of conservative surgery in women with invasive epithelial ovarian cancer. Three reports were identified from the Italian and French literature; the data were analyzed together with our own experience in terms of relapse rate, relapse in the preserved ovary, survival, and fertility outcome. A total of 152 conservative surgeries were reported: 88 patients with stage IA, 2 with stage IB, 51 with stage IC, 2 with stage II, 3 with stage IIIA, and 6 with stage IIIC. Relapses occurred in 18/152 patients (11.8%) and involved the preserved ovary in 11 cases (7%). Fifty-three pregnancies were recorded with 38 uneventful term deliveries, 2 ectopic pregnancies, 6 spontaneous abortions, 4 terminations, and 2 with unknown outcome. Nine patients (5.9%) have died of disease. These findings confirm that young women with stage I invasive epithelial ovarian cancer may receive a successful treatment of their disease without sacrificing fertility.

  • conservative surgery
  • epithelial ovarian cancer
  • fertility preservation

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