BACKGROUND: To examine the surgical treatment and clinical outcome of elderly and very elderly advanced epithelial ovarian cancer patients.
METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed FIGO stage IIIC-IV ovarian cancer patients, divided in elderly (Group A, >65 and <75 years) and very elderly patients (Group B, ≥ 75 years) treated by primary debulking surgery (PDS) or by interval debulking surgery (IDS) at the Catholic University at Rome and Campobasso, Italy.
RESULTS: 164 patients were included: 123 (Group A) and 41 (Group B). Complete cytoreduction was achieved in 60 patients (60.6%) in Group A and in 20 patients (62.5%) in Group B (p = 0.75). In the remaining cases, optimal cytoreduction was performed (39 cases (39.4%) in Group A and 12 (37.5%) in Group B; p = 0.75). In Group A complete/optimal debulking was achieved in 53 patients (53.5%) at PDS and in 46 patients (46.5%) at IDS (p = 0.55). In the Group B a higher rate of patients was debulked at IDS with respect to PDS (10 (31.3%) vs. 22 patients (68.7%); p = 0.02). In Group A patients debulked at PDS showed better DFS (p = 0.007) and OS (p = 0.003) with respect to patients submitted to successful IDS, whereas in group B we did not observed any survival difference according to time of cytoreduction.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that elderly and very elderly patients may tolerate radical and ultra-radical surgery. These patients should be managed in a gynecologic oncology unit, with prudent but complete approach.