Scientific publications

FIGO stage IV epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer revisited

Sep 1, 2016 | Magazine: Gynecologic Oncology

Ataseven B (1), Chiva LM (2), Harter P (1), Gonzalez-Martin A (3), du Bois A (4).


Epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube and peritoneal cancer (EOC) is the seventh most common cancer diagnosis among women worldwide and shows the highest mortality rate of all gynecologic tumors.

Different histological and anatomic spread patterns as well as multiple gene-expression based studies have demonstrated that EOC is indeed a heterogeneous disease.

The prognostic factors that best predict the survival in this disease include: age, performance status and patient's comorbidities at the time of diagnosis; tumor biology, histological type, amount of residual tumor after surgery and finally tumor stage as surrogate for pre-operative tumor burden and growth pattern.

In the majority of patients, the disease is diagnosed in advanced stage, disseminated intra- and/or extra-abdominally. It is unclear whether this is a consequence of distinct tumor biology, absence of anatomic barriers between ovary and the abdominal cavity, delay of diagnosis and/or the lack of sufficient early detection methods.

FIGO stage IV disease, defined as tumor spread outside the abdominal cavity (including malignant pleural effusion) and/or visceral metastases, will be present in 12-33% of the patients at initial diagnosis. Overall, median survival for patients with stage IV disease ranges from 15 to 29months, with an estimated 5-year survival of approximately 20%. Unfortunately, over the past decades the overall survival gain compared to stage III remains disappointing.

The current review aims to summarize the current data published in the international literature concerning FIGO stage IV EOC and discusses the published evidence for the clinical management of these patients.

CITATION  Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Sep;142(3):597-607. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.06.013. Epub 2016 Jun 19.