Neoadjuvant chemotherapy with cisplatin or carboplatin was administered to 29 patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma prior to their undergoing definitive cytoreductive surgery. Twenty-eight patients had ascites, eight had pleural effusion, and 16 had extensive upper abdominal disease on computerized tomography scan. The CA125 response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was highly predictive of survival (P<0.0005). A 2-log decrease in CA125 prior to surgery resulted in a median survival of 37 months, while patients with less than a 1-log response in CA125 had a survival of 18 months. Bowel resection after neoadjuvant chemotherapy did not benefit patients, as their survival (17 months) was identical to that of patients who were nonresectable and did not undergo any cytoreductive surgery.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy offers patients with suboptimal ovarian cancer the same survival as primary cytoreductive surgery with interval debulking, yet with only one operative procedure.