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Intraperitoneal chemotherapy in the management of patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: a critical review of the literature
  1. A. Gadducci* and
  2. P. F. Conte
  1. * Department of Procreative Medicine, Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; and
  2. Department of Oncology & Hematology, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Angiolo Gadducci, MD, Department of Procreative Medicine, Division of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Pisa, Via Roma 56, Pisa 56127, Italy. Email: a.gadducci{at}


The use of intraperitoneal (IP) chemotherapy has been advocated in different settings of patients with ovarian cancer. Cisplatin is the drug of choice because of its high response rate and minimal local toxicity. This treatment can be given to women with small residual disease after second look, with surgically assessed complete response rates of approximately 30%, and with a prolonged survival in small subset of patients. However, the use of IP chemotherapy as consolidation treatment of pathologically complete responders after first-line systemic chemotherapy has not been definitively evaluated in a phase III trial. There is much debate in the literature both for and against the use of IP chemotherapy in the first-line treatment of optimally debulked ovarian cancer patients. The recent Cochrane meta-analyses of eight randomized trials enrolling 1819 patients has shown that first-line IP chemotherapy improves progression-free survival and overall survival of patients with minimal residual disease after initial surgery. However, the potential for catheter-related complications, abdominal pain with infusion, and toxicities needs to be taken into consideration for decision making in each individual woman. Rectosigmoidal surgery can be associated with gross contamination of the operative field, and in this case, the catheter placement should not be performed during primary surgery but should be delayed to 3 weeks later. Patients should be provided with information on the survival and toxicity for both IP and systemic treatments, as well as practical information about the administration of each regimen, so that they may be involved in the decision-making process

  • cisplatin
  • cytoreductive surgery
  • intraperitoneal chemotherapy
  • ovarian cancer
  • paclitaxel

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