Is it justified to classify patients to Stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer based on nodal involvement only?

William A. Cliby, Giovanni D. Aletti, Timothy O. Wilson, Karl C. Podratz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Background.: Stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer is generally associated with upper abdominal tumor implants of greater than 2 cm and carries a grave prognosis. A subset of patients is upstaged to Stage IIIC because of lymph node metastases, in which prognosis is not well defined. We undertook this study to describe the clinical behavior of occult Stage IIIC. Methods.: All consecutive patients found to have Stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer during a 9-year period (1994-2002) were analyzed for surgical procedures, pathology, and disease-free (DFS) and overall survival (OS). Results.: Thirty-six patients were upstaged to Stage IIIC by virtue of positive nodes. Nine had small volume upper abdominal disease (IIIA/B before upstaging), 15 had disease limited to the pelvis and 12 had disease confined to the ovaries. 32/36 patients had no gross residual disease at the conclusion of surgery. The 5-year DFS and OS survivals were 52% and 76% respectively, for all patients. We observed no significant difference in outcomes between patients upstaged from IIIA/B versus I-II stage disease. The outcomes were superior to a control group of patients cytoreduced to either no gross RD or RD < 1 cm, who had large volume upper abdominal disease at beginning of surgery (p < 0.001). Conclusions.: Patients upstaged to Stage IIIC epithelial ovarian cancer for node involvement have an excellent 5-year OS relative to all patients with Stage IIIC disease. These data demonstrate the necessity for stratifying patients classified as having Stage IIIC disease based solely on nodal disease when comparing outcomes. This information is particularly valuable when counseling patients regarding prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-801
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2006


  • Lymphadenectomy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Retroperitoneal dissemination
  • Staging
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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