Background. The prognostic role of systematic lymphadenectomy remains unclear in advanced ovarian cancer (AOC). Only few retrospective case series have investigated the percentage of lymph node metastases after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. This multi-institutional casecontrol study analyzed the prognostic role of systematic lymphadenectomy in AOC patients at the time of interval debulking surgery (IDS). Methods. From January 2005 to December 2010, the records of patients with AOC admitted to IDS at the Catholic University of Rome (n = 101, controls) and at the University of Bologna (n = 50, cases) were retrospectively analyzed. The cases, routinely submitted to systematic pelvic and aortic lymphadenectomy, were matched 1:2 with the controls, who did not routinely undergo lymphadenectomy. To correctly assess the prognostic role of lymphadenectomy, only patients with optimally debulked disease were included. Progression-free survival and overall survival were analyzed by a log-rank test. Results. After an overall mean follow-up of 36 months (95 % confidence interval 33-39), 35 and 63 recurrences (70.0 vs. 62.4 %; p = NS) and 15 and 24 deaths due to disease (30 vs. 23.7 %; p = NS) were observed in the case and controls, respectively. The 2-year progression-free survival rate was 36 versus 25 % (p = 0.834), and the 2-year overall survival rate was 69 versus 88 % (p = 0.777), in the case and controls, respectively. The median operating time was longer, and the percentage of patients requiring blood transfusions was higher in the cases than in the controls (225 vs. 210 min, p = 0.023, and 54 vs. 22.8 %, p = 0.0001, respectively). Conclusions. Lymphadenectomy at the time of IDS could be omitted, at least in high-risk patients.
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