In order to focus on the incidence and the clinical significance of lymphatic spread in patients with cancer apparently confined to the ovaries, we present our 20 year experience in a large series of patients with early ovarian cancer who had systematic pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. A retrospective study of 280 consecutive patients is presented. Systematic pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy was performed in 205 cases (73.2%). Selective sampling and node biopsy were performed in 30 (10.7%) and 7 (2.5%), respectively. Node metastases were found in 32/242 patients (13.2%). The incidence of metastatic nodes was significantly higher in patients with serous adenocarcinomas and]or poorly-differentiated tumors. When few nodes were involved (1-3) lymphatic spread was most ipsilateral to the tumor. Even though the retrospective nature of the study has to be considered, univariate analysis revealed statistically significant differences in 5-year survival based on FIGO stage, histology, grade of differentiation, and node status. By contrast, using multivariate analysis, none of these risk factors was an independent variable for predicting long-term survival. However, node status closely approached the statistically significant level (P = 0.06). Only prospective and randomized studies can clarify the role of lymphadenectomy in early ovarian cancer. However, while awaiting these results, this surgical procedure should be a part of a research protocol.
- Early ovarian cancer
- Lymph node status in ovarian cancer
- Lymphadenectomy in ovarian cancer
- Ovarian cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology