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Practice patterns in post-treatment surveillance in patients with primary epithelial ovarian cancer

Abstract

Background The Society of Gynecologic Oncology created guidelines to standardize cost-effective clinical surveillance for detection of recurrence of gynecologic cancers.

Objective To determine practice patterns for surveillance of primary ovarian cancer after complete response to therapy and to identify the percentage of clinicians who follow the surveillance guidelines endorsed by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology.

Methods A single-institution retrospective cohort study was conducted including patients with epithelial ovarian cancer with a complete response to primary therapy between January 2012 and December 2016. Patients were excluded if they were participating in clinical trials that required routine imaging. Data on surveillance and recurrence were collected. Descriptive statistics as well as Fisher’s exact test and chi-square test were performed due to the exploratory nature of the study.

Results A total of 184 patients met the inclusion criteria. Median follow-up for the cohort was 37 months (range 6–80). Surveillance was completed in compliance with Society of Gynecologic Oncology guidelines in 78% of patients. Of 39 visits that were non-compliant, 44% (17) were patient initiated (scheduling conflict, missed appointment), 15% (6) were due to the provider intentionally scheduling alternative follow-up, while 41% (16) were off schedule due to problem visits (patient complaint of symptoms). Patients with early-stage cancers were more likely than advanced-stage patients to be non-compliant (33% vs 15%, p=0.006). Patients with non-serous histologies had a higher frequency of non-compliance (31% vs 16%, p=0.035). When stratified by early versus advanced stage, there was no difference in progression-free survival or overall survival based on compliance.

Conclusions Overall, there was a relatively high rate of compliance with Society of Gynecologic Oncology surveillance guidelines for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. Patients with non-serous histologies and patients with early-stage disease had a higher rate of non-compliance, and these patients may represent special groups that would benefit from additional survivorship education.

  • ovarian cancer
  • neoplasm recurrence, local
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