From the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, and the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, New York, New York.
Cytoreductive surgery is associated with extensive morbidity and may delay chemotherapy. We examined the associations among cytoreduction, perioperative complications, and delay or omission of chemotherapy.
Women aged 65 years or older with stage III-IV ovarian cancer who were treated with surgery from 1991-2005 and recorded in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database were examined. We estimated the influence of extended cytoreduction as well as the occurrence of major perioperative complications on receipt and timing of chemotherapy and survival.
Among 3,991 patients, 479 (12%) failed to receive chemotherapy. Of those treated with chemotherapy, 2,527 (72%) initiated treatment within 6 weeks of surgery, 838 (24%) within 6-12 weeks, and 147 (4%) more than 12 weeks after surgery. In a multivariable model, older patients, those with comorbidities, mucinous tumors, and stage IV neoplasmswere more likely not to receive chemotherapy (P<.05). Extended cytoreduction and the occurrence of postoperative complications were not associated with omission of chemotherapy but were associated with chemotherapy delay. For every 14 patients who underwent one extended procedure and for every 13 who had two extended procedures, one patient had a delay in receipt of chemotherapy. For every 14 patients who had one complication and for every four who had two complications, one patient had a delay in receipt of chemotherapy. The occurrence of more than two perioperative complications (hazard ratio 1.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.15-1.49) and initiation of chemotherapy more than 12 weeks after surgery (hazard ratio 1.32, 95% CI 1.07-1.64) were associated with decreased survival.
Extended cytoreductive surgery and perioperative complications significantly delay initiation but do not increase the chance of omission of chemotherapy for women with ovarian cancer.