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Keywords:

  • BRCA mutations;
  • fallopian tube cancer;
  • ovarian cancer

Abstract

BACKGROUND.

Fallopian tube cancers are rare neoplasms. These malignancies are thought to behave biologically and clinically like ovarian cancer. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical behavior and outcome of fallopian tube and ovarian cancer.

METHODS.

The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database was reviewed to identify women with tumors of the fallopian tube (FT) and ovary (OV) diagnosed between 1988 and 2004. Demographic and clinical data were compared, and the impact of tumor site on survival was analyzed using Cox models and the Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS.

A total of 55,825 patients were identified, 1576 (3%) with FT and 54,249 (97%) with OV cancer. FT patients were more likely to present with early stage tumors (P < .001). Among FT patients, 47% had stage I/II tumors compared with 29% of OV cancers. In an adjusted Cox model of all patients, cancer-specific mortality was 48% lower in FT patients (hazard ratio, 0.52; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48-0.56) compared with OV cancer. Among patients with FT tumors, advanced age and stage were independent predictors of decreased survival. When stratified by stage, survival was similar for stage I and II tumors, but stage III and IV FT patients had an improved survival. The 5-year survival for stage III FT cancer was 54% (95% CI, 48%-60%), compared with 30% (95% CI, 29%-31%) for OV.

CONCLUSIONS.

Fallopian tube cancers present earlier and at advanced stage have a better overall survival than primary ovarian malignancies. Future clinical trials should recognize the possible distinct clinical behavior of fallopian tube cancers. Cancer 2008. © 2008 American Cancer Society.