Aim: This study was performed to evaluate the efficacy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) with paclitaxel and cisplatin in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer who were inadequate for primary optimal surgery.
Methods: Patients with histologically confirmed epithelial ovarian cancer at International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stages IIIc/IV that was unresectable according to computed tomography findings were eligible for this study. Three cycles of paclitaxel plus cisplatin NAC were administered and the response was evaluated. Patients were then selected for interval debulking surgery or three cycles of additional chemotherapy with the same regimen according to the resectability and response. Interval debulking surgery followed by second-line chemotherapy was applied to patients with no response to NAC. During the same period, patients who did not agree to the protocol were treated by the conventional method of tumor debulking surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy, and served as the control group. A comparison of both groups of patients was carried out.
Results: A total of 40 patients were involved in the study. All patients were evaluable. Eighteen patients underwent NAC and 22 patients were treated by conventional therapy. Optimal debulking was possible in 14 patients (77.8%) in the NAC group and in 10 patients (45.5%) in the conventional therapy group (P = 0.04). The mean estimated blood loss was 620 cc (range: 300–1500 cc) in the NAC group and 1061 cc (range: 300–3500 cc) in the conventional therapy group (P = 0.04). However, no significant differences were found in the disease-free and overall survival rates between the two groups (P = 0.48 and P = 0.61, respectively).
Conclusion: NAC provided a higher rate of optimum cytoreduction and equivalent survival with less invasive surgery and reduced morbidity compared with conventional therapy in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer inadequate for primary optimum surgery. Therefore, NAC may be a valuable alternative treatment for these patients.