Is there a role for CT scanning to monitor therapy of optimally debulked patients with advanced ovarian epithelial cancer?

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Sixty patients with optimally debulked stage III ovarian epithelial cancer had abdomino-pelvic CT scan preoperatively and after three and six courses of cis-platin-based chemotherapy just prior to second-look surgery. Pelvic examination was performed and serum CA-125 drawn preoperatively, prior to each course of chemotherapy and prior to second-look surgery. All pelvic examinations and operative procedures were done by the author. Eight additional patients who were optimally debulked but whose disease progressed on first-line therapy were monitored in a similar fashion. None of 60 patients who underwent second-look surgery had evidence of disease on CT scan after three or six courses of chemotherapy, regardless of size of residual disease. Routine use of CT scanning to monitor therapy following optimal debulking is of little value and may be safely omitted.

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