Interventions for the treatment of borderline ovarian tumours

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Background: The safety of conservative surgery and the benefit of additional interventions after surgery for borderline ovarian tumours are unknown. Objectives: To evaluate the benefits and harm of different treatment modalities offered for borderline ovarian tumours. Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Gynaecological Cancer Group Trials Register to 2009, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2008, Issue 4), MEDLINE and EMBASE to 2009. We also searched registers of clinical trials, abstracts of scientific meetings, reference lists of included studies. Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared different interventions in adult women diagnosed with borderline ovarian tumours of any histological variant. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently abstracted data and assessed risk of bias. Main results: We identified seven RCTs that enrolled 372 women. We could not pool results of trials as the treatment comparisons differed. Six RCTs (n = 340) conducted over 15 years ago, evaluated adjuvant therapy (chemotherapy, pelvic external irradiation or intra-peritoneal radioactive isotope therapy) after radical surgery; over 87% of participants had Stage I tumours. Most participants were followed up for over 10 years. Overall and recurrence-free survival were similar between both arms of these trials, except that one trial (n = 66) showed a significantly lower survival (P = 0.03) in women who received chemotherapy (thio-TEPA). Adverse effects of treatment were incompletely reported and all six trials were at high risk of bias. One further trial (n = 32) that recruited participants with bilateral serous tumours who were wishing fertility preservation, revealed a significantly increased chance of pregnancy (hazard ratio (HR) = 3.3, 95% CI 1.4 to 8.0) but non-significantly earlier disease recurrence (HR = 1.5, 95% CI 0.6 to 3.8) in the women who had ultra-conservative surgery (bilateral cystectomy) than in those who had conservative surgery (cystectomy and contralateral oophorectomy). This trial was at low risk of bias. Quality of life (QoL) was not documented in any included trial. We did not find any trials that compared radical with conservative surgery or laparoscopy with laparotomy. Authors' conclusions: We did not find evidence to support the use of any specific type of adjuvant therapy for borderline ovarian tumours. RCTs evaluating the benefit of adjuvant therapy with optimally dosed chemotherapy and newer targeted drugs are necessary, particularly for advanced borderline ovarian tumours. The low mortality from borderline ovarian tumours should make recurrence-free survival, time to recurrence and morbidity important end points in such trials. Bilateral cystectomy may be offered to women with bilateral borderline ovarian tumours diagnosed intra-operatively who are wishing to preserve their fertility. Similarly, women who had RCTs comparing radical with conservative surgery and comparing laparoscopy with laparotomy are needed.




Faluyi, O., Mackean, M., Gourley, C., Bryant, A., & Dickinson, H. O. (2010, September 8). Interventions for the treatment of borderline ovarian tumours. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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