Surveillance procedures for patients treated for epithelial ovarian cancer: a review of the literature

International Journal of Gynecological Cancer : Official Journal of the International Gynecological Cancer Society
Angiolo GadducciE Sartori

Abstract

Epithelial ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological cancer in the Western countries. Approximately 20%-30% of patients with early-stage disease and 50%-75% of those with advanced disease who obtain a complete response following first-line chemotherapy will ultimately develop recurrent disease, which more frequently involves the pelvis and abdomen. Few formal guidelines exist regarding the surveillance of these patients, and there is no agreement in the literature about the type and timing of examinations to perform. Moreover, the objective of follow-up is unclear as recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer continues to be a therapeutic dilemma and quite all the relapsed patients will eventually die of their disease. The follow-up of asymptomatic patients generally include complete clinical history, serum cancer antigen (CA)125 assay, physical examination, and often ultrasound examination, whereas additional radiologic imaging techniques are usually performed when symptoms or signs appear. (18)Fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose ((18)FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) has a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 85% approximately for the detection of recurrent disease, and this examination appears to be particularly u...Continue Reading

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