The Impact of Number of Cycles of Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy on Survival of Patients Undergoing Interval Debulking Surgery for Stage IIIC–IV Unresectable Ovarian Cancer: Results From a Multi-Institutional Study

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Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) followed by interval debulking surgery (IDS) may be a valuable treatment option in advanced ovarian cancer when primary cytoreduction is not feasible. However, a consensus on the ideal number of NACT cycles is still lacking. In the present investigation, we aimed to evaluate how number of cycles of NACT influenced patients' outcomes.


Data of consecutive patients undergoing NACT and IDS were retrospectively reviewed in 4 Italian centers, and survival outcomes were evaluated.


Overall, 193 patients were included. Cycles of NACT were 3, 4, and at least 5 in 77 (40%), 74 (38%), and 43 (22%) patients, respectively. Patients undergoing 3 cycles experienced a similar disease-free survival (hazard ratio [HR], 1.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.89–1.65; P = 0.20) but an improved overall survival (HR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.05–2.4; P = 0.02) in comparison to patients receiving at least 4 cycles. Five-year overall survival was 46% and 31% for patients having 3 and at least 4 cycles. Ten-year overall survival was 26% and 18% for patients having 3 and at least 4 cycles (HR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.13–2.55; P = 0.009). Using multivariate analysis, we observed that only Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status correlated with overall survival (HR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.2–2.49; P = 0.001). In addition, a trend toward worse overall survival was observed for patients with residual disease at IDS (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.98–1.70; P = 0.06) and patients receiving at least 4 cycles (HR, 1.76; 95% CI, 0.95–3.22; P = 0.06).


Our data underline the potential implication of number of cycles of NACT before IDS. Further prospective studies are warranted to assess this correlation.

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