Intestinal obstruction is a common and distressing clinical complication in ovarian cancer. The aim of our study was to assess vomit control in terminal ovarian cancer patients with inoperable gastrointestinal obstruction, using a symptomatic pharmacological treatment with octreotide which obviates the need for nasogastric tube placement. We studied 13 patients, all of whom had advanced ovarian cancer FIGO stage IIIc. Seven patients were treated in the Gynecology Department of S. Raffaele Hospital, at the University of Milan, and 6 were managed in the University of Varese Hospital. Octreotide was administered at doses starting with 0.3 up to 0.6 mg (mean 0.44 mg) a day by subcutaneous bolus or continuous infusion. Octreotide controlled vomiting in all cases to grade 0 on the WHO emesis scale. Complete relief of symptoms was achieved within 3.07 days (range 1-6 days). Vomiting stopped within 2-3 days of starting treatment in most patients. In 8 patients with a nasogastric tube, drainage decreased from 2000 to under 100 ml/day after the start of octreotide treatment. No side effects were reported. All patients died with minimal distress or pain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology