INTRODUCTION: Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death among gynecological malignancies. Its usual clinical manifestation is at advanced stages, with nutritional impairment, weight loss, and a consequent decline in skeletal muscle mass and strength (defined as sarcopenia). The relationship between sarcopenia and decreased survival was demonstrated not only in ovarian cancer but also in other cancer types, such as hepatocellular, pancreatic, lung, colon, cervical, metastatic breast, and renal cancer. The aim of this study is to review the current evidence regarding the relationship between sarcopenia and the surgical and oncological outcomes in ovarian cancer patients.
METHODS: The systematic search was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRSIMA) statement. The terms "SARCOPENIA" AND "OVARIAN CANCER" were systematically used to search PubMed and Scopus databases. Original reports in English language were identified, with the purpose to include all relevant papers regarding the role of sarcopenia and indicators of skeletal muscle quality assessment in gynecological ovarian cancer.
RESULTS: A total of 9 studies were considered eligible for the present review. The strength of recommendation was moderate and the level of evidence was low in all selected articles. No prospective studies were conducted and most of the papers were case-control series comparing ovarian cancer sarcopenic population vs. non sarcopenic population.
CONCLUSIONS: Sarcopenia appears to have an important role in oncological outcomes of ovarian cancer patients. However, sarcopenia occurrence during disease history and mechanisms underlying the possible impairment in prognosis should be better investigated. Prospective trials are awaited in order to obtain a better insight in this topic.