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Cytoreduction to no residual disease is the mainstay of primary treatment for advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (AdvEOC). This review addresses recent insights on optimal patient selection, timing, and extent of surgery, intended to optimize cytoreduction in patients with AdvEOC.Clinical guidelines recommend primary cytoreductive surgery (PCS) for AdvEOC patients with a high likelihood of achieving complete cytoreduction with acceptable morbidity. In line with this, preoperative prediction markers such as cancer antigen-125, histologic and genomic factors, innovative imaging modalities, and the performance of a diagnostic laparoscopy have been suggested to improve clinical decision-making with regard to optimal timing of cytoreductive surgery. To determine whether these strategies should be incorporated into clinical practice validation in randomized clinical trials is essential.The past decade has seen a paradigm shift in the number of AvdEOC patients that are being treated with upfront neoadjuvant chemotherapy instead of PCS. However, although neoadjuvant chemotherapy may reduce morbidity at the time of interval cytoreductive surgery, no favorable impact on survival has been demonstrated and it may induce resistance to chemotherapy. Therefore, optimizing patient selection for PCS is crucial. Furthermore, surgical innovations in patients diagnosed with AvdEOC should focus on improving survival outcomes.