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Minimal Macroscopic Residual Disease (0.1–1 cm). Is It Still a Surgical Goal in Advanced Ovarian Cancer?
  1. Luis M. Chiva, MD, PhD,
  2. Teresa Castellanos, MD,
  3. Sonsoles Alonso, MD and
  4. Antonio Gonzalez-Martin, MD
  1. Departments of Gynecologic and Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Madrid. Spain.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Luis M. Chiva, MD, PhD, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Calle Barrial 30, Madrid 28023, Spain. E-mail: lchiva{at}


Objective The objective of this review was to try to determine by searching in the literature what is the survival in patients with advanced ovarian cancer after a primary debulking with minimal macroscopic residual disease (MMRD; 0.1–10 mm). Additionally, this review aimed to explore the survival in patients with residual disease from 0.1 to 0.5 cm.

Methods A retrospective search was accomplished in the PubMed database looking for all English-language articles published between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2014, under the following search strategy: “ovarian cancer and cytoreduction” or “ovarian cancer and phase III trial”. We selected those articles that contain information on both percentage of MMRD (0.1–1 cm) and median overall survival (OS) in this subset of patients with stage III to stage IV ovarian cancer after primary debulking surgery.

Results Thirteen publications were obtained including information of a total 11,999 patients with stage III to stage IV ovarian cancer. Five thousand thirty-seven patients (42%) had MMRD after the primary debulking (0.1–1 cm). Median overall survival in patients with MMRD was 40 months and disease-free survival (DFS) was 16 months. This group of patients obtained an advantage of 10 months in OS (40 vs 30 m) and 4 months in DFS (16 vs 12 m) compared with the group with suboptimal debulking (P < 0.001). Compared with the group of complete resection, patients with minimal macroscopic residuum showed a significant inferior median OS and DFS of 30 months and 14 months, respectively (OS, 70 vs 40 m; DFS, 30 vs 16 m) (P < 0.001). The group of residual disease of 0.1 to 0.5 cm reached a median survival of 53 months.

Conclusions Patients with ovarian cancer with MMRD after primary surgery obtain a modest but significant advantage in survival (10 months) over suboptimal patients. Patients with macroscopic residual disease (0.1–0.5 cm) obtain a better survival (53 months) than those with more than 0.5 to 1 cm. We propose that they should be classified as a different prognostic group.

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Surgery
  • Cytoreduction
  • Residual disease

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  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.