Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in advanced ovarian cancer: a case-control study


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Vera Loizzi, MD, Sezione di Ginecologia e Ostetricia “A”, Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche Generali e Specialistiche, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. Email:


Abstract.  Loizzi V, Cormio G, Resta L, Rossi CA, Di Gilio AR, Cuccovillo A, Selvaggi L. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with advanced ovarian cancer: a case-control study. Int J Gynecol Cancer 2005;15:217–223.

The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of patients with advanced ovarian carcinoma treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) with those treated conventionally with primary debulking surgery. From 1994 to 2003, all consecutive cases of advanced-stage epithelial ovarian carcinoma treated with NACT at the University of Bari were identified. A well-balanced group of women who underwent primary debulking surgery followed by platinum-based chemotherapy was selected as controls. Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to determine the predictors for survival. Thirty women with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian carcinoma were treated with NACT and compared to 30 patients who underwent primary debulking surgery. Patients in the NACT were significantly older and had a poorer performance status compared to the controls. However, no statistical difference was observed in overall disease-specific survival (P= 0.66) and disease-free survival (P= 0.25) between the two groups. Although patients in the NACT group are significantly older and have a poorer performance status, this treatment modality does not compromise survival. Prospective randomized trials comparing NACT to conventional treatment to determine the quality of life and cost/benefit outcomes are now appropriate for women presenting advanced epithelial ovarian cancer.