, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 10-13
Date: 14 Sep 2012

Staging, cytoreduction and chemotherapy improve long-term outcomes in patients with ovarian cancer

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Despite improvements in survival over the last several decades, epithelial ovarian cancer has the poorest prognosis of all the gynaecological malignancies. Surgical staging and cytoreduction to the greatest extent possible is the first step in treatment. The current standard of care is chemotherapy with paclitaxel and carboplatin for 3–6 cycles in patients with high-risk, early disease and for 6 weeks in patients with advanced disease. Recurrences are common; for patients with platinum-sensitive disease, the best results are obtained with a repeat course of paclitaxel and carboplatin. However, for patients with platinum-resistant disease, no optimum treatment has been identified.

Prognosis poor for most

Worldwide, ovarian cancer is the seventh leading cause of death from cancer in women.[1] It carries the worst prognosis of the gynaecological malignancies, primarily because it usually presents late.[2] Approximately 75% of patients present with stage III or IV disease (see table I for st