Use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for patients with stage IIIC and IV epithelial ovarian cancer has increased from 2004 to 2016, according to the results of a new study.

Researchers from Columbia looked at data from 72,171 women treated for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer between 2004 and 2016 from the National Cancer Database. Of these women, 73.5% underwent primary cytoreductive surgery.

The percentage of women who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy steadily increased during the study period. From 2004 to 2006, 17.6% of patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. From 2006 to 2011, the percentage of women receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy increased by 7.9% per year.

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Again, from 2011 to 2016, use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy increased by 10.3% per year. Finally, by 2016, 45.1% of women were receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

The researchers noted that changing trends in median survival seen during the time of the study were not associated with increased use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy.

Previously published clinical trials have shown no survival difference between primary cytoreductive surgery and neoadjuvant chemotherapy for advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer. However, neoadjuvant chemotherapy is associated with reduced surgical morbidity.


Knisely AT, St. Clair CM, Hou JY, et al. Trends in primary treatment and median survival among women with advanced-stage epithelial ovarian cancer in the US from 2004 to 2016. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(9):e2017517. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.17517