New research says ovarian cancer patients should get postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy (POAC) earlier than later – proving those who got POAC within 42 days after completing neoadjuvant chemotherapy lived longer.
Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) refers to medicines administered before surgery while POAC refers to those given after surgery.
No guidelines exist regarding when to get POAC after finishing NAC making the study a meaningful one, the researchers said.
|Professor Lee Jung-yun|
The research team led by Professors Lee Jung-yun and Lee Yong-jae from Severance Hospital aimed to uncover if survival outcomes of ovarian cancer patients changed according to how quickly they got POAC.
The 10-year study divided 220 patients with stage 3 or 4 epithelial ovarian cancer into two groups: an early-treatment group (those who got POAC within 42 days of completing NAC) and a later-treatment group (those who got POAC 42 days after NAC).
Results showed patients who got the postoperative chemotherapy within six weeks had a higher five-year survival rate and a lower cancer recurrence rate than those who got it later.
Notably, the early-treatment group had double the five-year survival rate with 59 percent while the later-treatment group had 36 percent, data showed.
Progression-free survival (PFS) was also significantly higher in the early-treatment arm (22 percent vs. 9 percent), the study said. Overall, the risk of recurrence or death increased as the interval between treatments grew, it added.
“We believe the identification of an effective treatment time span between neoadjuvant chemotherapy and postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy, which was previously unclear, will greatly benefit patients with advanced ovarian cancer,” Professor Lee said. “We expect the medical staff will work towards creating an effective cooperative system and executing chemotherapy at the most optimal time to reduce surgical complications.”
The study, with a long title of “Impact of the time interval from completion of neoadjuvant chemotherapy to initiation of postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy on the survival of patients with advanced ovarian cancer,” was published in the international journal Gynecologic Oncology.
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