Medline: 7959287

Gynecologic Oncology 55(2): 217-223, 1994.

Salvage surgery for chemorefractory ovarian germ cell tumors.

Munkarah A, Gershenson DM, Levenback C, et al.


This study was undertaken to determine whether secondary surgical debulking is beneficial for patients with malignant ovarian germ cell tumors (OGCT). Twenty patients with OGCT treated at our institution between 1975 and 1992 were retrospectively identified and analyzed. Survival was analyzed using the life-table methods of Kaplan and Meier and the statistical significance of various perioperative factors was tested by both the log-rank and the Wilcoxon tests. Histologic tumor type included 8 immature teratomas, 6 mixed tumors, 5 endodermal sinus tumors, and 1 dysgerminoma. After primary surgery, all patients received chemotherapy--non-platinum-based in 12 patients, platinum-based in 5, and both types in 3 patients. Treatment failure was classified as progression in 14 patients, persistence in 3, and recurrence in 3. Salvage surgery consisted of exploratory laparotomy and tumor debulking in 18 patients, inguinal lymphadenectomy in 1, and thoracotomy and wedge resection in 1. Sixteen patients subsequently received salvage chemotherapy. At the time of analysis, 11 patients were alive disease-free, 1 was alive with tumor, 6 had died of tumor progression, and 2 had died of treatment-related complications. Survival of patients with immature teratoma who underwent salvage surgery was significantly better than survival of those with other tumor cell types (P = 0.006). In conclusion, although the role of secondary debulking in chemorefractory OGCT remains undetermined, it may have some benefit for a select group of patients, particularly those with immature teratoma.

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