Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More patients with ovarian cancer are receiving chemotherapy before surgery

Date:
May 30, 2014
Source:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Summary:
The use of chemotherapy before surgery to remove ovarian cancer has increased dramatically in recent decades, particularly among certain patients, according to a new analysis. Having government-run health insurance -- Medicaid or Medicare -- also increased a woman's odds of undergoing chemotherapy before surgery. In contrast, race and location did not appear to influence her likelihood of receiving neoadjuvant therapy.

The use of chemotherapy before surgery to remove ovarian cancer has increased dramatically in recent decades, particularly among certain patients, according to a new analysis from Fox Chase Cancer Center that will be presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Related Articles


Looking back at medical records from more than 58,000 women, Fox Chase's Angela Jain, MD, Medical Oncologist and co-investigator Elizabeth Handorf, PhD, member of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Facility, found that only 8.94% received chemotherapy before ovarian cancer surgery in 1998; by 2011, that figure had increased to 26.72%.

The standard of care, Dr. Jain explained, is to offer chemotherapy after surgery, not before -- but in some cases, patients are not well enough to have surgery right away. "They may have other health problems, such as heart failure or severe lung disease, which complicate the procedure," she said. Their cancer may also be so far advanced that they need an additional treatment step.

Indeed, Drs. Jain and Handorf found that patients were more likely to receive so-called "neoadjuvant" chemotherapy if they were older than 70, and had additional illnesses.

Having government-run health insurance -- Medicaid or Medicare -- also increased a woman's odds of undergoing chemotherapy before surgery. In contrast, race and location did not appear to influence her likelihood of receiving neoadjuvant therapy.

Not surprisingly, patients who did not receive chemotherapy before surgery tended to live longer following surgery to remove their tumor -- half were alive 41 months later, while median survival for those who had neoadjuvant chemotherapy was closer to 31 months. This is not an indication that neoadjuvant chemotherapy is not effective, Dr. Jain cautioned, since the women who received it were older and sicker to begin with. But additional analyses showed that patients with stage 4 disease who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy tended to have fewer complications after surgery and survive just as long as other stage 4 women. However, those with stage 3 disease tended to survive longer if they skipped neoadjuvant therapy.

Indeed, the current study cannot determine whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy was beneficial, said Dr. Jain, because it does not compare groups of similar women who were randomly chosen to receive the treatment or not. "This is good information," said Dr. Jain. "Women with stage 4 disease maybe can have chemotherapy before surgery, and their survival isn't limited. But we need to study this population in more depth before we can conclude whether there are some groups of women who should or should not be receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy."

In the meantime, women with ovarian, fallopian, and primary peritoneal cancers who want to learn more about neoadjuvant chemotherapy should consult their physicians, said Dr. Jain. "Patients with these cancers need to talk to their oncologists about their treatment plan, and what is right for them. Each person is an individual, so their care has to be catered to them."

Just why the rate of neoadjuvant chemotherapy has increased so dramatically in ovarian cancer is "hard to know," she noted, because there are no set criteria for prescribing it. "It's a judgment call of the oncologist to decide if a patient is healthy enough to have surgery or not, and whether the gynecologic oncologist feels that they can remove all of the tumor during surgery" she said. "What we do know, is that patients in general are aging, and older patients are more likely to both have additional illnesses and receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy. So it's possible this factor may help explain why more women are receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fox Chase Cancer Center. "More patients with ovarian cancer are receiving chemotherapy before surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530133218.htm>.
Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2014, May 30). More patients with ovarian cancer are receiving chemotherapy before surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530133218.htm
Fox Chase Cancer Center. "More patients with ovarian cancer are receiving chemotherapy before surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530133218.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins