Carcinosarcoma of the ovary

19 years of prospective data from a single center




A review of clinicopathologic features and outcome in women with carcinosarcoma of the ovary (also known as malignant mixed mesodermal tumor [MMMT]) compared with a group of women with serous adenocarcinoma (SAC) of the ovary was conducted.


Between 1984 and 2002, 1568 patients with epithelial ovarian carcinoma and 70 patients with ovarian carcinosarcoma underwent treatment at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre. Analysis was performed on 65 patients with MMMT, and 746 patients with SAC were selected as a group for comparison. Baseline variables were recorded prospectively and response to chemotherapy and progression-free and cause-specific survival between the groups were compared.


Patients with carcinosarcoma had a mean age of 66.6 years, which is significantly older than those with SAC (62.0 years) (P < 0.001). The objective response rate to platinum-based chemotherapy was found to be significantly lower in patients with carcinosarcoma (25% vs. 60%; P = 0.02). Cause-specific survival in the carcinosarcoma group was poor and significantly shorter than that observed in the SAC group (median survival of 8.2 months vs. 20.7 months; P < 0.0001). Progression-free survival in patients with carcinosarcoma also was found to be significantly shorter compared with patients with SAC (median progression-free survival of 6.4 months vs. 12.1 months; P < 0.001). Achieving optimal debulking at the time of initial surgery was found to be a highly significant factor in patients with carcinosarcoma with regard to determining outcome (median survival of 14.8 months for patients with optimally debulked International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Stage III disease vs. 3.1 months for patients with suboptimally/nondebulked Stage III disease; P < 0.001).


Ovarian carcinosarcoma is a distinct entity with a poor prognosis. Patients with carcinosarcoma differ from those with SAC with regard to having an older mean age of onset, an inferior response to platinum-based chemotherapy, and worse progression-free and cause-specific survival. The extent of benefit from chemotherapy is unclear. Cancer 2004. © 2004 American Cancer Society.