Researchers have found that chemotherapy improves survival and reduces the risk of recurrence in women with stage I ovarian cancer (cancer that has not spread beyond the ovary).
About one quarter of all ovarian cancers are caught while confined to the ovaries, when five-year survival is 85 percent. Most doctors may prefer not to offer chemotherapy for their patients, since eight in 10 patients are adequately treated by surgery alone , thus doctors say that giving all stage I patients chemotherapy would lead to unnecessary adverse events with no survival benefit for the majority of patients.
For the study researchers analyzed data from 13 trials. They found patients who received any adjuvant chemotherapy had a lower risk of death and recurrence than those who did not receive chemo. They also found adequate surgical staging, or taking biopsies, was a prognostic factor for cancer survival, and they recommend women receive appropriate surgical staging.
However researchers say it still remains unclear which patients would most benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy and what the optimal treatment regimen would include and the therapeutic benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy remains controversial.