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.

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 July 30, 2014 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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:
from the past week

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