Although the results from chemotherapy for advanced ovarian carcinoma have improved over the past 15 years with the introduction of platinum compounds, there are still a large number of patients who will relapse from complete response (clinical or pathological) to first line therapy, and there is little published data on prognostic factors for survival after relapse. A total of 270 patients from two randomized trials in ovarian carcinoma conducted in Scotland were reviewed and the data from 117 patients who were disease free after first line treatment were analyzed to determine prognostic factors associated with disease-free survival and survival after relapse respectively.
The most important prognostic factors adversely influencing time to relapse were the presence of ascites at presentation and an advanced tumor stage. For time from relapse to death, the most important adverse features were: early relapse, no chemotherapy at relapse, histology other than serous and stage at diagnosis (either stage IC/II or stage III/IV with residual disease ≥ 2 cm). From our results, 26% of patients who achieve complete response are alive and disease-free after 5 years, while 56% relapsed within 2 years. Of the patients whose disease-free period following initial complete response extends beyond 600 days, 50% can expect a further period of at least 600 days following relapse and subsequent therapy. Patients with ascites and advanced stage may be suitable for consideration of a more aggressive approach (high dose chemotherapy) once complete response is confirmed, the aim being to improve the disease-free period.
- initial chemotherapy
- ovarian carcinoma
- prognostic factor
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