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This article is the author’s final published version in Diagnostics, Volume 12, Issue 4, April 2022, Article number 988.

The published version is available at Copyright © Cummings et al.


Primary debulking surgery (PDS) has remained the only treatment of ovarian cancer with survival advantage since its development in the 1970s. However, survival advantage is only observed in patients who are optimally resected. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) has emerged as an alternative for patients in whom optimal resection is unlikely and/or patients with comorbidities at high risk for perioperative complications. The purpose of this review is to summarize the evidence to date for PDS and NACT in the treatment of stage III/IV ovarian carcinoma. We systematically searched the PubMed database for relevant articles. Prior to 2010, NACT was reserved for non-surgical candidates. After publication of EORTC 55971, the first randomized trial demonstrating non-inferiority of NACT followed by interval debulking surgery, NACT was considered in a wider breadth of patients. Since EORTC 55971, 3 randomized trials-CHORUS, JCOG0602, and SCORPION-have studied NACT versus PDS. While CHORUS supported EORTC 55971, JCOG0602 failed to demonstrate non-inferiority and SCORPION failed to demonstrate superiority of NACT. Despite conflicting data, a subset of patients would benefit from NACT while preserving survival including poor surgical candidates and inoperable disease. Further randomized trials are needed to assess the role of NACT.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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