Introduction/Background The DESKTOP III trial has demonstrated a significant survival benefit in AGO-score positive patients who underwent complete cytoreduction at 1st relapse compared to those treated with chemotherapy alone. The question whether eligible patients who missed the opportunity of potentially life prolonging surgery at 1st relapse would benefit from surgery at the time of their second relapse, remains open.
Methodology We evaluated separately the patients who were randomized in the standard, non-surgical arm of the DESKTOP III trial who then subsequently underwent cytoreductive surgery at a subsequent relapse at investigator’s discretion.
Results The median progression-free survival (PFS) counted from randomization of 201 patients in the control arm of DESKTOP III was 14.0 months. 171 (85%) had progressive or relapsing disease and 32 of 171 (19%) underwent cytoreductive surgery. Patients’ median age at this subsequent surgery was 63 years (range: 46 – 78). Complete tumor resection was achieved in 19 patients (60%), while 5 (16%) had postoperative residual disease (n=8 missing data). Sixteen patients (50%) commenced systemic treatment within 90 days from surgery, as documented. Thirty- and 90-day surgical mortality rates were 1 (3%) and 2 (6%), respectively. Within a postoperative median follow-up time of 43.8 months, 12 (38%) deaths were reported. Median overall survival after surgery (OS) was 54.0 months. One- and 2-year OS rates were 91% and 84%, respectively.
Conclusion Cytoreductive surgery for subsequent ovarian cancer relapse appears feasible and with low mortality in selected patients who received non-surgical treatment at 1st relapse despite a positive AGO -score. Surgery could be considered as an option in carefully selected patients also later in their journey within a specialized gynecological cancer setting.
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