Objective: The therapeutic role of pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy in surgical staging of apparent early-stage epithelial ovarian cancer (eEOC) is still under debate. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential therapeutic role of systematic lymphadenectomy in patients with eEOC. Methods: Multi-center retrospective cohort study, comparing women with apparent eEOC who underwent comprehensive bilateral pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy (defined as ≥20 lymph nodes) versus patients receiving no lymphadenectomy or lymph node sampling, from 05/1985 to 12/2016. Patients with bulky nodes at CT-scan and those without complete intra-peritoneal surgical staging were excluded. Only patients who received at least 3 cycles of platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy were included. Results: Out of 2559 patients with FIGO stage IA-IIIA1 ovarian cancer, 639 (25.0%) met inclusion criteria. 360 (56.3%) underwent comprehensive lymphadenectomy, 150 (23.5%) lymph node sampling and 129 (20.2%) no lymphadenectomy. Patients who underwent comprehensive lymphadenectomy were younger (p < 0.001), experienced a higher number of severe post-operative complications (p = 0.008) and had a longer time to start chemotherapy (p = 0.034). There was no difference in intra-operative complications. Median follow-up was 63 months (range, 5–342). The 5-year disease-free survival (DFS) was 79.7% vs. 76.5% vs. 68.3% (p = 0.006), and 5-year overall survival (OS) was 92.3% vs. 94.5% vs. 89.8% (p = 0.165) in women who received comprehensive lymphadenectomy vs. lymph node sampling vs. no lymphadenectomy, respectively. Lymphadenectomy represented an independent factor for DFS improvement, HR 0.52 (95%CI 0.37–0.73) (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy in surgical staging of eEOC improves DFS for the price of increasing post-operative complications and time to chemotherapy but does not affect OS. Better understanding of tumor biology may help to identify those patients in whom lymphadenectomy should still play a role.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology