Clinical Behavior of Stage II-IV Low-Grade Serous Carcinoma of the Ovary

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To analyze the clinical behavior of patients with stage II-IV low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary seen at our institution who underwent primary surgery followed by platinum-based chemotherapy.


Patients with stage II-IV low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary from 1978 to 2003 were identified using existing databases. Clinicopathologic information was obtained from medical records. Progression-free survival and overall survival were estimated by the method of Kaplan and Meier. The log-rank test was used to compare differences between survival curves. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed using Cox proportional hazards regression.


We identified 112 eligible patients. Median age was 43 years.; 90% had stage III disease. Preoperative serum CA 125 was elevated in 86% of patients. The most common sites of extraovarian disease were omentum, fallopian tubes, pelvic peritoneum, and uterus. Response rate to platinum-based chemotherapy in 10 evaluable patients (15% of patients with gross residual disease) was 80%, and 42 patients underwent second-look surgery: microscopically negative findings, 2 (5%); microscopically positive disease, 13 (33%); macroscopically positive disease, 24 (62%); and insufficient information, 3 (7%). Median progression-free survival and overall survival times were 19.5 and 81.8 months. Persistent disease after primary chemotherapy was the only factor associated with shorter overall survival time (hazard ratio 3.46, 95% confidence interval 2.00–5.97, P<.001).


Metastatic low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovary is characterized by young age at diagnosis and prolonged overall survival. Segregating women with this diagnosis in future clinical trials is warranted.



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