Minimal residual disease at primary debulking surgery versus complete tumor resection at interval debulking surgery in advanced epithelial ovarian cancer: A survival analysis


To compare survival outcomes and peri-operative complications in patients with advanced ovarian cancer with 1-10 mm residual disease (RD) at primary debulking surgery (PDS) versus those achieving no gross residual disease (NGR) at interval debulkingsurgery (IDS).


Patients operated with the intent of complete cytoreduction for epithelial ovarian/fallopian tube/primary peritoneal cancer, FIGO stage IIIC-IV, RD 1-10 mm at PDS and NGR at IDS, between 01/2010 and 12/2016, were retrospectively included. All patients had at least 2-years of follow-up completed.


207 patients were included (59 PDS and 148 IDS). Patients in PDS group were younger and had a higher surgical complexity score. There was a higher rate of intra- and major early post-operative complications in the group of PDS vs IDS (16.9% vs 1.3% and 28.8% vs 2.0%, p < 0.0001 respectively). After a median follow up of 56.4 months (range 59.2-65.4), 117 (56.5%) patients died of disease in the whole population. Forty-eight (81.4%) patients had progression/recurrent disease in the PDS group and 120 (81.1%) in the IDS group. Median PFS was 16.2 months and 18.9 months for PDS and IDS group, respectively (p = 0.111). Median OS was 41.4 months and 52.4 months for PDS and IDS group, respectively (p = 0.022).


IDS should be considered the preferred treatment in case millimetric residual disease is expected at PDS in view of the superimposable PFS and the reduced number of perioperative complications.