International Journal of Gynecological Cancer vol:18 Suppl 1 pages:11-19
It is clear that primary debulking remains the standard of care within the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer (FIGO stage III and IV). This debulking surgery should be performed by a gynecological oncologist without any residual tumor load, or so-called "optimal debulking." Over the last decades, interest in the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy together with an interval debulking has increased. Neoadjuvant therapy can be used for patients who are primarily suboptimally debulked due to an extensive tumor load. In this situation, based on the randomized European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Gynaecological Cancer Group trial, interval debulking by an experienced surgeon improves survival in some patients who did not undergo optimal primary debulking surgery. Based on the GOG 152 data, interval debulking surgery does not seem to be indicated in patients who underwent primarily a maximal surgical effort by a gynecological oncologist. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy can also be used as an alternative to primary debulking. In retrospective analyses, neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by interval debulking surgery does not seem to worsen prognosis compared to primary debulking surgery followed by chemotherapy. However, we will have to wait for the results of future randomized trials to know whether neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by interval debulking surgery is a good alternative to primary debulking surgery in stage IIIc and IV patients. Open laparoscopy is probably the most valuable tool for evaluating the operability primarily or at the time of interval debulking surgery.