The objective of the present review is to thoroughly investigate the role of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in the setting of secondary cytoreduction for ovarian cancer recurrence, comparing this approach to traditional open surgery. PubMed, ClinicalTrials. gov, Scopus and Web of Science databases (between 1st January 1989 and 1st January 2020), have been systematically queried to identify all articles reporting either laparoscopic or robotic-assisted secondary surgical cytoreduction for recurrent ovarian cancer. We also manually searched the reference lists of the identified studies. Only English language papers were considered. Two independent reviewers screened and identified the reports. A sub-analysis was performed including studies comparing MIS vs. open abdominal secondary cytoreduction. A total of 617 articles were considered. Among them, we included 12 retrospective studies on minimally invasive secondary cytoreduction, enrolling 372 patients (260 of whom were submitted to whether robotics or laparosopy). Three studies compared 69 patients who underwent MIS vs. 112 cases of open abdominal secondary cytoreduction. Other 9 articles described a total of 191 patients who had minimally invasive secondary cytoreduction for recurrent ovarian cancer without a comparative arm. The quality of the evidence was low. The decision regarding the use of MIS was left to surgeon's discretion; in general, the candidates to MIS were selected patients with single-site disease or few localizations of relapse. Compared to open surgery, MIS was associated with significantly lower blood loss, shorter hospital stay and less postoperative complications; the rate of complete cytoreduction to residual tumor =0 was 95.5% in MIS cases vs. 87.5% in laparotomy cases. The risk of complications was generally low. Disease-free and overall survival were comparable between groups. There is no consensus on the criteria to select patients for laparoscopic or robotic secondary cytoreduction. Intra-operative ultrasound has been proposed as a possible tool to better identify the site of recurrence and for confirmation of complete resection of disease. In conclusion, MIS is an option in selected patients with recurrent ovarian cancer, provided there is no widespread disease. Selection of patients appears of utmost importance to obtain satisfactory survival outcomes.
- Minimally invasive surgery (MIS)
- Open surgery
- Ovarian cancer