Ovarian cancer

Nicoletta Colombo, Toon Van Gorp, Gabriella Parma, Frederic Amant, Gemma Gatta, Cristiana Sessa, Ignace Vergote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ovarian cancer accounts for 4% of all cancers in women and is the leading cause of death from gynaecologic malignancies. Because early-stage ovarian cancer is generally asymptomatic, approximately 75% of women present with advanced disease at diagnosis. Survival is highly dependent on stage of disease: 5-year survival in patients with early-stage is 80-90% compared to 25% for patients with advanced-stage disease. For all patients, a comprehensive surgical staging should be performed to obtain the histological confirmation of diagnosis and to evaluate the extent of disease. Patients with early-stage should both be optimally staged and be treated with adjuvant platinum-based chemotherapy if they have a medium or high-risk tumour. For advanced disease the currently recommended management is primary cytoreductive surgery followed by platinum-paclitaxel combination chemotherapy. Appropriate salvage therapy is based on the timing and nature of recurrence and the extent of prior chemotherapy. Surgical resection should be considered in patients with long-term remission, especially in those with isolated recurrences and good performance status. Platinum-based combination represents the standard second-line chemotherapy in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed ovarian cancer. Salvage chemotherapy in platinum-refractory patients usually results in low response rates and short survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-179
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • Ovarian cancer
  • Paclitaxel
  • Platinum-based chemotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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