About thirty percent of women with epithelial ovarian cancer survive for more than 10 years, including some with high-risk disease, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Rosemary D. Cress, Dr.P.H., from the University of California Davis, and colleagues used the California Cancer Registry to examine characteristics associated with long-term survival for epithelial ovarian cancer patients.

The authors compared characteristics of long-term survivors (more than 10 years) with those who survived less than two years, at least two but no more than five years, and at least five but no more than 10 years.

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The researchers found that 31 percent of the 11,541 patients survived more than 10 years. Significant predictors of long-term survival included younger age, early stage, low grade, and non-serous histology. Women with high-risk cancer were also included among long-term survivors.

“Long-term survival is not unusual in patients with epithelial ovarian cancer, even in those with high-risk disease,” the authors write.

“Many of the prognostic factors are well known, but it remains to be determined why some patients with advanced-stage high-grade cancers survive longer than others with the same histology. These findings are important for patient counseling.”


  1. Cress RD, Chen YS, Morris CR, et al. Characteristics of Long-Term Survivors of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Obstetrics & Gynecology. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000981. July 31, 2015.