The importance of lymph node involvement as a prognostic factor is still under debate. In the present study, the impact of surgical staging for prognosis in early stages of epithelial ovarian cancer was evaluated in a series of 113 patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
A retrospective study was carried out at the Department of Gynecological Oncology, Orebro University Hospital, during the period 1994-1998. In a subgroup of 20 out of 113 patients, pelvic lymph node sampling or pelvic lymphadenectomy was included in the standard surgical procedure. In cases of positive lymph nodes, the tumors were upstaged to FIGO Stage III. Pearson's chi-square, the t-test, the log-rank test and Cox multivariate analysis were used in the statistical analyses.
The 20 patients with lymph node sampling or lymphadenectomy were compared with the remaining 93 patients without a comprehensive surgical staging procedure. A survival analysis demonstrated a significant (p = 0.005) difference in disease-free survival rates between the two subgroups, where there was a survival benefit in the subgroup of patients who had undergone comprehensive surgical staging. In a Cox proportional hazard regression analysis with disease-free survival as the endpoint, high tumor grade (HR = 3.14) and comprehensive surgical staging with at least a node sampling (HR = 0.09) were significant and independent prognostic factors.
The benefit in survival after the procedure of lymph node sampling in early stages of epithelial ovarian carcinoma could probably be explained by the fact that the surgical procedure detects otherwise unrecognized Stage III disease.
2005. Vol. 26, no 2, 181-185 p.