NINETY-SEVEN EVALUABLE PATIENTS with Stage III epithelial ovarian carcinoma were prospectively randomized to receive melphalan alone, radiation alone, melphalan followed by radiation therapy, or radiation therapy followed by melphalan. There was a higher overall survival rate in patients with optimal disease (residual disease less than 3 cm in diameter) compared to patients with suboptimal disease (disease equal to or greater than 3 cm in diameter). The median survival times were 28.5 months and 15.7 months, respectively. The progression-free interval was longer in those patients who received combined therapy than in either group receiving chemotherapy alone or radiation therapy alone. This difference was not statistically significant because of the small numbers of patients in each category. The survival data, however, were not different.