Pathologic distribution at the time of interval tumor reductive surgery informs personalized surgery for high-grade ovarian cancer

Courtney D. Bailey, Rebecca Previs, Bryan M. Fellman, Tarrik Zaid, Marilyn Huang, Alaina Brown, Ahmed Enbaya, Nyla Balakrishnan, Russell R. Broaddus, DIane C. Bodurka, Pamela Soliman, Nicole D. Fleming, Alpa Nick, Anil K. Sood, Shannon Neville Westin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction The surgical approach for interval debulking surgery after neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been extrapolated from primary tumor reductive surgery for high-grade ovarian cancer. The study objective was to compare pathologic distribution of malignancy at interval debulking surgery versus primary tumor reductive surgery. Methods Patients with a diagnosis of high-grade serous or mixed, non-mucinous, epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy or primary tumor reductive surgery and had at least 6 months of follow-up were identified through tumor registry at a single institution from January 1995 to April 2016. Pathologic involvement of organs was categorized as macroscopic, microscopic, or no tumor. Statistical analyses included Mann-Whitney and Fisher's exact tests. Results Of 918 patients identified, 366 (39.9%) patients underwent interval debulking surgery and 552 (60.1%) patients underwent primary tumor reductive surgery. Median age was 62.3 years (range 25.3-92.5). The majority of patients in the interval debulking surgery group were unstaged (261, 71.5%). In the patients who had a primary tumor reductive surgery, 406 (74.6%) had stage III disease. In both groups, the majority of patients had serous histology: 325 (90%) and 435 (78.8%) in the interval debulking and primary tumor reductive surgery groups, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between disease distribution on the uterus between the groups; 31.4% of the patients undergoing interval debulking surgery had no evidence of uterine disease compared with 22.1% of primary tumor reductive surgery specimens (p<0.001). In the adnexa, there was macroscopic disease present in 253 (69.2%) and 482 (87.4%) of cases in the interval vs primary surgery groups, respectively (p<0.001). Within the omentum, no tumor was present in the omentum in 52 (14.2%) in the interval surgery group versus 91 (16.5%) in the primary surgery group (p<0.001). In the interval surgery group, there was no tumor involving the small and large bowel in 49 (13.4%) and 28 (7.7%) pathologic specimens, respectively. This was statistically significantly different from the small and large bowel in the primary surgery group, of which there was no tumor in 20 (3.6%, p<0.001) and 16 (2.9%, p<0.001) of cases, respectively. Conclusion In patients undergoing interval debulking surgery, there was less macroscopic involvement of tumor in the uterus, adnexa and bowel compared with patients undergoing primary cytoreductive surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • gynecologic surgical procedures
  • ovarian cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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