Article Abstract

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and interval debulking surgery for advanced ovarian cancer, an alternative with multiple advantages

Authors: Heriberto Medina-Franco, Lorelí Mejía-Fernández


Ovarian cancer, which is mostly diagnosed in advanced stages, is a disease with high mortality among women. Until now, no screening strategies have been accepted and are currently under study because although they help in the diagnosis at early stages, they do not increase survival. The gold standard treatment for advanced ovarian cancer is based on primary debulking surgery (PDS) follow by adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) with paclitaxel and carboplatin. Recently, treatment alternatives have been proposed: neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) with interval debulking surgery (IDS). This approach has been controversial due to the lack of clinical data on the validity as a safe and successful procedure and because of the high morbidity and mortality associated to this disease. The most important prognostic factor for survival is no residual tumor after surgery; despite of this, numerous tumors do not fulfill the criteria for performing a PDS and associated morbidity is unacceptable high. Based on selected clinical features, NAC-IDS could be a reasonable alternative to those patients with reversible contraindications to primary surgery with the only objective of improving survival and quality of life (QOL). Although, several papers have reported that NAC could induce ACT resistance, neither randomized controlled trials nor meta-analyses have demonstrated this fact. The true is that more advantages have been reported: NAC groups trend toward higher QOL and lower rates of postoperative adverse events. This has been confirmed by two randomized clinical trials, but further studies are needed to support the role of NAC. Meanwhile, patients should receive the best opportunities and the best option for treating this type of cancer.